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DID YOU KNOW? 



We still have the very best PD library 
for the Atari Classic 

There are over 400 disks available 

Many disks are only £1 .50 each 

Collections and special sets are even cheaper 

EVERY PURCHASE OF A PD DISK 
HELPS TO SUPPORT THE MAGAZINE 

DID YOU REALISE? 

We still have the entire ST library available 

There are over 1 ,000 disks 

Disks are only £1 each 

We will send you details on request 

KEEP SUPPORTING US 
AND WE WILL KEEP SUPPORTING YOU 




The Resource for the ATARI CLASSIC and the ATARI ST 



Issue 81 Spfing/Summef 1997 



£2.50 



FOR THE ATARI CLASSIC 




O CIRCLES AND SPIRALS 

Graphics without the headaches 

Q CONSTANT CONVERTER 

Save program memory by 
using variables 

O FREE RS232 

Help to build your own interface 



M WER scm 



LOTS OF ATARI 8- BIT 
STUFF ON THE 
INTERNET! 




MAC-X41HEZr ■■¥ [>V VASiT PDOIIIM 






EJiOE. 



^■■^^■'^^''- ,^^^ r,,^-:,t^.K»f^ 



PLUS.,, COMPUTER INTELUGBtiCE ., ADVENTURES .„ THE VPSTER ... CLASSiC PD ZOHB ,„ AND MORE! 




ThiiTiks 



Les Eiiinghtsm puts it all together and fills 
up the gaps but the real thanks goes to the 
following who made thts issue possible 

S€Uidy MUinghajn who takes care of all the 
ofRoe work, adverttsfn^ and mail order 

For their contrtbuticins this issue 



Avram Dtmtitre»eu 
Doifc Barclay 
Graeme Fenufick 
Chortle Ayres 
Dontet Yettand 
James Afaf hricJc 



Edinund Blake 
Ann OTlriscolt 
Austin HiUman 
Dean Garrt^htu 
John Foskett 
John S Davison 



AJPOIX>GIE^ 



I am still ■ejctremcly poor tn ackno^cdging 
contributions go I applogiac to cvcryDnc 
•who hajs swint In stuff artd thought it has 
gone through the woim-holc The intention 
to reply to cvcr^'Orte Is there but the ttinc 
seems to drift by. If you have not heard, 
thanltyou and keep watching the inag, you 
might be surprlRCiif. 

HOW ITS DONE 

PAGE 6 shows lust what yow Cfin (to with your Atari. 
NEW ATARI USER has ahvaj's beftji created entirely with 
Mali equipment, initially' on the XL but ll»re lately with 
a Mega ST and other stuff, who needs PC's or Macsl 
Haidini-ire lnclude-5 a Mega STHl (upgraded to 4Mb), 
SMI 35 Monitor, Stipr,! 30Mb Hard Dish, a HP Lascrjcl 
III, Citizen 124S3 prtnicr. PhlUpa CM8833 manUfsY. 
I3CKE. 3 couple of lOlMdiak drives, S50 Interface, NEC 
8023 printer. Principal software used Is Protest and 
Ffcct Street Publlsiicr 3.0. Other Eoflwair^ Ineluds-s Kttr- 
nUt, TariTalk, Turbo Basic .ind various custoin Written 
pix^aims on the XL/XE, Artie Lw submlttetl on XL/XE 
disks are tranafcrrcd across to the ST via TAKflALK, 
Pro-ams are coded on the XE arid printed out dJrecdy 
for pasting In aflcr tJie typesetting Ib completed. All 
major editing is done with Protcxt and pages arc lakl out 
with Fleet SO^ct Publisher, Ei*ch p-^ge is output directly 
from Fleet Street to a HP Laserjet III which produces 
Anl&hcd p^ges ejtjtetiy ^ you se* them. All that Is left I* 
to drop In tfic listings and photos. 

Well, It's not quite as easy as that but you j^ct tlie IdCfi! 



InspircLtiatt 



Almost total llstsntsig ow?r thu pasl couple of months, 
and as I type (his, (s KohhiK Rohertson 's Music for 
The NatiiK Americans, Vou rr%ht pecoii iast year thai 
; menttoned a band called The Little WolfBmid in 
glcKving t&vns. wdlthls is inhctt inspired that record- 
ing. FlridiJig stijJffSike this is- a long. hard, process. 
iniiolving lots of effort and energy. We ui^re in GEas- 
tonburv fn^rlier this year and in a shop tJuit iiad a 
selection of World music, ! found a book listing Native 
Arrwrican recordings. Surprisinglg, in this wets a cou- 
p\e ofcJibiiins by Robbie Robertson. I didn't take any 
notes bui H stayed in the back afmy mliid whenever 
I chanced upon a record shop. Ofccursc, nobody 
keeps much ncrn.' mainstream sniff nou; so I had to 
wait until I CQukL Uilt JfAfV on « neuJ shi^pping park 
Ju-^t aulslde Biirrdnghan^ where ffnund t}\e qforejnen- 
tioned CD. All t haiw to do nou^ is find the other one, 
but that cpuld. be a langer seaichi 

CONTRIBUTIONS 

without contributions Jram its readers, NEW 
ATASI USER would, not be possible. PAGE B 
welcomes and encourages its readers to sub- 
mit, articles, pmgrams and revieuts for publi- 
cation. Program* tnust he submitted on disk 
or cassette, ca^icles should ofhereiier potsiiile 
be suliitiiHed as t&ct files on dislc. We seek to 
eticourage your participatian and do not 
have strict rules Jbr submissions, ifsome- 
thing interests you, utrite a program or arti- 
cle and stibmit iti 



COPYRIGHT 

All original aTlitrlcs. prDgrams aiid other material Irt 
NEW ATAKI USER remain the cupyrt^t of the mi- 
thOT" as credited, All uncrediied material ii copy-right 
PAGE 6 . Ptrmlsston must be sought by anyone 
wishing to republish any material. Whilst we take 
whatever gtcps wc can iu ensure the accuracy of 
artlcks and pTngrains and the contents of advertise- 
ments, PAGE 6 cannot be held liable for any errurs 
or claims made by advertisers, 

ATARI {TM) I* ■ reaister«d IrtdcniBrfc of ATARI CORP. All 

references »hia<uldbe bo notwi, MEW ATARI USER It *ri 
IhdetMndtnt publlution and ha* no carinecliaii mth AtHTl or 
with «<iy Qiih«r CMnpany or pid>lisher. 




Emorial amress: P.O. Box 54, Stafford, ST16 1DR, ENGLAND Tel. 01785 241153 
Editor & Pubilstier: Les Etllngham ■ Advertising: Sandy Ell Ingham 
Page layout by PAGE & - Printed by Dolphin Press, Fife, Scotland 01592 771652 
NEW ATARI USER is published bl-nnonttily onihe last Thursday of th€ rrontti prior to cover date 



Page 6's New Atcui User 



PAGE 6 PUBUSHlNG's 



m' 



ATARI CONTENTS 



"The Magazine for the 
Dedicated Atari User' 

ISSN No, 095B-770S 



REGUUkRS 

EDITORIAL 4 

DISK BONUS 13 

SPACE BAR 

THE TIPSTER 15 

CLASSIC PD ZONE 26 

NEWS 28 

ACCESSORY SHOP 43 

CONTACT mC 



ADVERTISERS 

NOSAUG 25 



Issue 61 - SprLng/Sunuiier 1997 



PROGRAMMING 

CIRCLES AND SPIRALS 

Graphics wiihoul the headaches 

CONSTANT CONVERTER 

Save program uwirvory by using variables 

FEATURES 

IN THE BEGINNING 

Looking hack to the days of the VCS 

FREB RS232 

Some help in huiidmg your ottfn interjace 

COMPUTER INTELLIGENCE 

Is that box realty clever? 

THE NOSTALGIA COLUMN 

AU the Jim o/AMS 

ADVENTURES .„ why botlier? 

Can this persuade you to play? 

JOURNEY INTO CYBERSPACE 

Atast 8-bit iiifo on the Jfiterriet 



S 
40 



3 
18 
23 
29 
34 
47 



MAGAZINE ONLY 

ArvniFBl subscription rdiss (6 issuss) 

UK £15,00 

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Omrssas rales reflect only the diff&sncs in 
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Please malce cheques ptLytible 
PAGE 6 Publishing, P.O. 



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1 



editorial 



T 



hank you for your patience. Tliis issue has been a long time coming for several reasons 
but [ hope you will understand and do what you can lo help get the next one out a little 
earUer. 

Tlie first reason for the delay Is that Just as I was about to start the issue back In 
March my mother was taken Into hospital and she died a couple of weeks later. That 
slowed us down and cut down on the time I needed for various other activities that I 
now have to do to make a iMng. After that I waited for certain columns to come in and 
waited for your letters for Mailbag - and waited and waited- Each time a "slot' of time 
caixie along to fit In the work needed for the magazine I was still waiting for some 
columns and some letters, E^/entuaUy I decided thai enough was enough and I went 
ahead wilh one regular column misstng and no Mallbag- That's right - no Mallbag - not 
even one page, for believe It or not I did not receive one single letter from you following 
the last issue, the Orst time this has happened in 15 years! 

I am quite disappointed to have to miss out Mallbag, not only because It provides a 
good opportunity to read about other people's exploits with their Atari and for you to 
share problems and experiences, but also because It means that 1 have had to use 
other articles that I was saving for later Issues, to fill the space, We don't have 
unlimited articles and contributions on hand and if I keep having to use a couple of 
articles intended for future issues to fill up the MaUbag slot, we are likely to run out of 
things to print It also makes It harder to achieve a good balance of articles in each 
Issue. TTve sohxtinn. is simple. Write to Matlbag. I have said this many times before but 
this is your magazine, fllled with your contributions and if you don't make any, you 
can't blame anyone else for delays or lack of interesting articles. Please do your bit and. 
If you can't send in an article or program, at least write to Mailbag. 

Another thing that makes it more dim cult for us la the lack of support recently for the 
Accessory Shop. I know that we have run out of new PD to add each Issue but I also 
know that veiy few of you have all of the PD disk we have issued, in fad, whenever 
someone sends In a list of equipment they want to selL I am constantly surprised to 
And that they have maybe only half a dozen disks from the PD libmiy. Out of 
something hke 400 disks! Make an effort this Issue and buy a couple of PD disks. If you 
buy a couple of disks each issue It will cost you only a few pounds, but if everyone does 
It It would make an enormous difference to tlie support we can give to the magazine. 

I want the next issue to come out in exactly two months Ume. but I need your support 
to make it so (as Jean-Luc would say). 

J was going to use this issue's editorial to talk about the Internet, having tasted its 
delights in a Cyber cafe in Glastonbuiy earlier this year, but that will have to wait for 
the next time. See you ihen! 



Les ^tiingham 



Page 6's New Atari Us^r 



Features 

and 





A chance purchase 
leads Avram 
Dumitrescu back 
to Atari's roots 



Atari's "Video Cartridge System was the 
first ever that showed what computers 
really shouldn't do but often ultimate- 
ly do - play games. Technically, machines 
that eame before, such as the massive univer- 
sity mainframes and other warehouses of 
electronics, were quite capable of asking you 
to 'Guess the Animal' and 'Guess the number 
[Vc picked between one and a hundred*. Ttue, 
these were games but not quite as thrilling as 
aUen annihilation. 

Before the VCS, most \ddeo-gamre playing 
was done In a smoky pub blippjng blops on 
Pong or frying monsters with xenophobic rage 
on Space Invaders. 1 977 came and suddenly 
you could play these in your home for free! 



A DESIGNER 
BLACK BOX 

I recently found a 'VCS in a msu-ket and took 
it home. It's as long as two and a half video 



cassettes placed together with the slight slope 
seen on most computer keyboards, "Wliy? It 
could be that the designers wanted to make it 
k)ok like a small, slim typewriter without the 
keys or that a black plastic box Isn't as 
attraetl\,'c as a black plastic box with a slope. 
Uninterestingly enough, future game systems 
are shaped without the tj'pewriter slope and 
resemble somewhat stylish plastic bricks - 
the NES. Master System, Saturn and Playsta- 
tion. 

1 bought two cartridges. Defender and Gala- 
xian, and spent half an hour finding spare 
leads to connect cvciything together. I plug- 
ged in Gaiajdans and saw Oiree slender bars 
on the television. It didn't work. 

Defender did. As soon as pou'er fizzled 
through the system a five colour screen 
appeared. Pressing start I could control a tiny 
blue spaceship, 1 won't bore you with the 
g^me controls and other things except that 
every time f pressed the joystick trigger and a 
dellciously long laser bar whooshed across 
the s creen my craft disappearedl Star Trek- 
kies know that Kllngon ships have to "de- 
cloak" (become visible whilst previously being 
Invisible} to shoot laser beams. Is there a 
connection here? The most likely explanation 
Is that the computer can't cope with too many 
objects on screen and momentarily vanishes 
your craft. 

Initially, 1 wasn't impressed with the VCS's 
extremely basic graphics and nonexistEnt 
sound (do 1 have a faulty television or were 
you meant to suffer softwan: without sound?), 
Still, quite surprisingly. Defender is feirly 



Page 6's New Atari User 



1 



I'd advise you to try a VCS if you have tiie 
chanoe to, if only to ^ee from what primeval 
silicon ooze the later Atari machine g emerged, 
1 guess most VCS games will play well as 
programmers didn't need to spend months 
tweaking sound and graphics and they put 
their energies Into game mjechanlcs. 



THE WORLD'S FULL 
OF CARTRDIGES 

According to figures, Atari sold six zUllon 
trillion of these machines and ten Umcs as 
rnany game cartridges. As with any successful 
product, imltadons appeared. Matell's [ntelll- 
vlslon was. I believe. Atari's main competitor. 
One cheeky company launched a widget that 
granted you the ability to play not only its 
own brew of games but Atari VCS Udes tod 
That was the equh^alent of using Love Mc Do" 
by the Beatles to advertise Ronscal "Wood Var- 
nish without asking the Fabulous Four's 
lawyers. 

Did Atari retaliate and launch their own de- 
vice that allowed you to play non-Atari games 
on a VCS, thus possibly resuking in more 
software selection, greater sales of better 
games and, perhaps, the abolishment of the 
computer industry's biggest drawback, In- 
compatibility between rival machines? Hell> 
no. Atari took them to court and won. Inci- 
dent^, the VCS games adaptor was probably 
created because Atari was fortunate to have 
licenses to the best games of the early eighties 
- Pole Position, Pacman^ Defender, Space In- 
vaders and so on. Versions of these could be 
found on other machines but they wcit: not 
the originals, only copies modified Just 
enough as to not warrant a law- suit 

Still on a tangent did you know scrolling 
(moving what you see on screen to something 



else by shifting the picture, like panning on 
television) Is patented by Atari? No? Neither 
did Sega. Wired Magazine in May 1 995 says 
Atari sued Sega sHly for using this technique 
and got one hundred million dollars. Fifty 
years from now Atari may not be remembered 
for their Innovative electronics but rather for 
their mthlcss lawyers. Incidentally where has 
this money got to? Atari was taken over at the 
start of 1 996 by JCV. a disk company. Are 
JCV now vety rich or is the tax man due an 
early retirement? 



FUNNY THINGS 
TO PLUG IN 

Back to the VCS. Controlling games is nor- 
mally by Joystick but for programs needing 
more accurate and quicker response you 
could buy a touch -tablet (for Star Raiders), a 
trackball (Centipede and Missile Command) 
or a set of paddles (Break-out). 

Standard stuff but the Vapourware cata- 
logue holds more intErestlng devices. Vapour- 
ware Is hardware developed and possibly 
functional but, for reasons rarely disclosed, 
not released. If Atari were brai.T; with their 
inventions you could have had a keyboard 
called the Graduate, Musical? Possibly, be- 
cause 1 think a 42 key touchpad called the 
Compumate had already been launched. It 
came with a BASIC language and 2K of RAM 
to write your programs In! 

Far more Intriguing Is a nameless add-on 
that rssporaied to your uofine and a headmoitfit 
that read L/otir thaitghts. Whoa - leave that 
Malibu bottle there, Avram. 

A VCS that picks up your brain -waves? 
There have bcCn experiments carried out In 
this field that discovered that electrodes 
attached to your head register different cur- 
rents of electricity whenever you think yes' 



6 



P(xge &'s New Atari User 



and 'no'. 

The voice control system may have been 
equally simple and listened to the pitch or 
length of voice instead of understanding con- 
versations. Very recent PC software CAN rec- 
ognise individual words but needs time to 
become used to your voice and works at 
around one hundred words per second. The 
voice and thought system would have caused 
a small computer revolution if released in the 
early elglitles. 



MAKING ADVANCES 

After such a successful machine Atari had to 
come up with a follow-up and so we had the 
S200 VCS. According to information 1 received 
from, the Atari Classic Pixigraniraer's Club, it 
is Identical to an ordinary Atari eight-bit ex- 
cept certain chips were mapped in different 
areas of memory, Wisely, Atari did not adver- 
tise ihis machine too much as an 800XL 
would have done everything the S200 could 
but has the added adv=antage of being a REAL 
computer with keyboard and disk-drive. 

Atari's third console was a \'ery good 
machine but suffered the Infamous Atari 
Curse - marketing for lack of it). Initially laun- 
ched in 1984 the Atari 7800 VCS was soon 
withdrawn because tlie company was ex- 
periencing the dreaded decline which they 
never recovered from. 

The 7ti00 had great internals. Programs ran 
through a 6502c processor and appeared in a 
320 X 242 screen resolution in 256 colours 
with 2 sound channels. Not bad for a prede- 
cessor to the Nintendo Entertainment 
SystenL 

It's unique selling point was a chip called 
MA1?IA. MAi^A gave sixty -four sprites and 
poaaibly all kinds of da25:llng graphical fan- 
dangos (Derek Fern of Micro Discount tried to 
connect a MARIA board to an fiOOXL but it 



didn't work). 
Games for the 7800 were developed on an 
Atari ST and ported over, Zeppelin, tiie soft- 
ware house that put Zybexand Draeonus on 
the Classic, used this kind of system. Code 
for their games was written on ah ST and sent 
across to a waiting 800XL, Whether you had 
sixteen bit quality software on the console is 
unlikely. 



NET NOSTALGIA 

Information for the VCS has been very diffi- 
cult to find but [>erek Fem and the Internet 
have been fantastic help. 1^ a 2600 for nos- 
talgia but the 7800 boks like a far better 
machine. I downloaded some scrccnshots 
from the Internet and while most equalled the 
Atari Classic I was stunned by Desert Falcon. 
Detail and colours were Atari ST quality'. 

One last poinL Sound seems to be the short- 
coming of the VCS range. Some 'super-car- 
tridges' were developed with new chips buUt 
tn, Dallblazer has an extra sound chip and 
Karate ka another 46ii ROM memory. 

Why do you not see 7800 machines today? 
After making an absolute hash of things in 
1984 JackTramlel tried to make Atari more 
efficient by cutting down on every 'unneces- 
sary' office and project which Included the 
7800. E^.'en a re -launch in 1986 flopped be- 
cause, by then, the Sega Master System and 
Nintendo 8 -bit machine had stolen the con- 
sole market fham Atari. 

If you have any mort information on the VCS 
range, please get In touch with me as I'd love 
to follow up this article. My address is : 
AvTun Dumitrescu 
L90, CoHnniill 
PolejJass 
Dtuuutiny 
Belfwl 
Iforthem Ireland BT17 OAU 



Page 6's New Atari User 





1 



PROGRAMMING 



CIRCLES and SPIRALS 



Dave Barclay 
shows you how to 
create an infinite 
variety of shapes 
in Graphics 8 



It is always satisfying to write a short 
pnograjn that puts some interesting 
graphtc shapes on the screen but when It 
comes to ttrcles and the like, not many of us 
understand the mysteries of sines and 
cosines and the like. Fear not for here are a 
couple of piDgrams that can be used as the 
base for an amazing variety of different 
shapes and you don't haT,Tc Ld work out any- 
thing. Just tinker about wltli various values 
using the hints given and you can create 
some mart'cllous graphics of your own. 



BASIC CIRCLE 
PROGRAM 

i^fs start witli the basic program structure 
for circles which we'll amend as we go along. 
Type In the following program and save it to 
disk or cassette: 

lOGRAPHICSe + 16;TRAP30000 

£0 POKE 71 0,1 4: POKE 709,0:COLOR 

1:DEG 

3OL^0;EC = 0:X = 15O:Y=9O:HDS=5O 

50GOSUB 100 

70 GOTO 70 

1 10Xl = L1*EX*CO3(L4RODG)4.X: 

Vl=LrEY'Sm{L + R0DG)4.Y 

130IFL=OTHEWPLOTX1,V1 

140L=L+ACC 

150iFEC = 1 THEN PLOT 

XI. Y1 :EC = 0:GOTOlOO 

160DRAWTOX1,Y1 

170IFL< = PTHENGOT0100 

!80HETURN 

30000 TRAP 30000:EC:^1:GOTO 100 



S 



This base program will not run on its own as 
we have to add a couple of lines to create 
various shapes. 
Page 6's New Atari User 



CREATING THE 
VARIATIONS 

In the examptes which follow you will be 
adding certain lines to the base program. 
Generally these lines are Hnca 40 and 100, 
You can enter the base prDgram e^ich time, 
add these lines, and then re-save the whole 
program with a new file name but there is 
another way which you may prefer, 
SAVE the base prognam in ihc normal way. 
Type in the lines shown in the examples (after 
typing NEW) and LIST these to disk or tape 
using the command UST "D:PETAI^'', or 
whatever filename you wish to use. Make sure 
you use different filenames for each variation. 
When you want to run the program, IjOAD In 
the base program then ENTER the variation 
you want to run. After you have run the first 
one you can keep ENTERjng new variations 
as each will overwrite the previous version. 

PETALS 

Load In the Base Circle program and add ihc 
following lines , then run the program. 

40NP = 3:P = 180:HODG=0:ACC = 1: 

EX=1:EY=1 

lOOLl^RDS-SlNtNPa) 



For an odd number of "petals', let NP^the 
number of petals and P= I SO. Fof an even 
number of petals, let NP=ha|f the number of 
petals and if NP Is even let P=360 otherwise 
let P=l 80 and add the following line: 

60L=0:RODG = ieO:GOSUB 100 

Hints for variations: 

X and Y are the coordinates of the centre of 

the shape 
RDS is the length of the petals, if EX=1 and 

EY=1 
RODG Is how many degrees clockwise the 

shape is rotated from its norma] (I.e. 

when RODG=0) 
The smaller ACC Is, the more accurately ihe 

shape is drawn 
Changing SIN in line 100 to CC>S rotates the 

shape 90 degrees clockwise 
EX stretH±ies the shape EX times horizon- 
tally 
EY stretches the shape EY times vertically 



LUMPY CIRCLE 

Load in the Base Circle program and add the 
following lines: 

40ISIP=4:P = 360:RODG = 0; 
ACC=1:DSZ = 0,2;EX = 1:EY=1 
100 L1=RDS*(1+DSZ*COStNP'L)) 

Hints for variations: 

RDS is the average radius If EX=i and EY=1 

NP Is the number of lumps 

The lai]gcr DSZ Is. the greater the distortion 

is. If DSZ=0 then a circle is dr^wn 
EX, EY. RODG. X and Y perform the same 

functions as in PETALS' 
Try making DSZ=COS[L} and NP=51 and 



Page 6's New Atari User 



9 



add the follDwing Hne: 

120DSZ-COS(L) 

Or you could make DSZ=COS(L)*SrN(L) In 
lines 40 and 120 with NPs51= Also you 
could try making RDS=40 in Une 30, NP^Bl 
and make DSZ=S[N(L) in, lines 40 and 120 

SPiKED CIRCLE 

Make RI>S=40 and add the foUowtng lines to 
the base program: 

40NP=4:P=360:RODG=0:ACC = 1: 
KPS=70:WEI = 1;CSP = 1:EX = 1:EY=1 
100 L1 = RDS*{WEUCSP*COS 
{NP*L)*KPS) 

Hints for variations: 

The Isixgcr KP5 is, the sharper the spikes 

are, but do not let KPS exceed 88 
NP^half the number of spikes, generally, but 

If KPS=1 then NP=the number of petals 
RDS is the radius of the circle withtjut the 
splices and the length of the spikes Is 
CSF*RDS, if EX=I and EY=1. So the lar- 
ger CSP Is, the longer the spikes are 
Try making CSP an odd number 
EX EY, RDDG, X and Y perform the same 

functions as in PETALS' 
Try changing WEI to a value less tJian I 
To reverse the spikes, change line 100 to 
100 L1=RDS*(WE1-CSP*C0S(NP*L)^KPS) 



CIRCLES AND ELLIPSES 

To draw plain circles and ellipses add the 
following lines to the base program; 

40ACC=1:RODG = 0:P=360:EX = 1 :EY=1 
100L1=RDS 

For a clrde. EX and EY must be the same. 
The radius of the Circle Is EX*RDS or 



EY*RDS (It is best to miake EX=1 and EY=1. 

so that then, the radius of the circle Is RDS) 

For an ellipse. EX and EY must be difTereoL 

The horizontal radius of the ellipse Is 

EX*RDS and the vertical' radius of It Is 

EY*RDS 

RODG doesn't affect the shape 

X, Y and ACC perform the same functions as 

in TETALS' 



STAR SHAPE 



Add the foUowing Hnea to the base program, 
make RDS=40 and then run it. 

40NP = ia:P=360:RODG = 0: 

ACC = 120/NP:CSP = 1:EX = 1:EY=1 

l00Ll=RDS*{1+CSP*COS(lStP"L)'^70) 

Hints for variations: 

NP is the number of 'spikea' 

The length of the spikes is CSP'RDS, if 

EX=1 andEY=l 
EX, EY, RODG, X and Y perform the same 

function as In PETAl^' 
RDS Is the radius of the sliape without the 

spikes. If EX=1 and EY=1 
Try makLng NP=270, CSP=SO and RDS=1 
To reverse the spikes change Hne 100 to: 
100 LI =RDS»( 1 -CSP*COS(NP*L}^70) 



POLYGON 

Add the following lines to the base program: 

40 NP=6:P = 36O:RODG = 0:ACC=3G0/' 
NP:EX=1:EY-1 

100L1=ROS 



Hints for variations: 

NF is the number of sides 
RDS is the maximum radius if EX=1 and 
EY=1 



EX EY, X, Yand RODG perform the same 
functions as in 'PETALS' 



BASIC SPIRAL 
PROGRAM 

Here Is the base program for creating spirals. 
The same comments apply as to the Circle 
program and we will be adding various lines 
to create more shapes. 

10GRAPHICSS+ie;TRAF 30000 

20POKE710,14:POKE709,0:COLOR 

1:DEG 

30L=0:EC = 0:X = 15O:Y=9 0:RDS=S0 

50GOSUB 100 

70 GOTO 70 

110Xl-LrEX*COS(L^RODG)+X: 

Y1 = LrEY*SlhJ(L+RO0G) + Y 

130 IF L=0 THEN PLOT XI, Y1 

140L=L+AGC 

150IFEC = 1 THEN PLOTXi.Yl: 

EC = 0;GOTO 100 

160DRAWTOX1.Y1 

170IFSQRUXl-X)'^2 + (YT'Yr2)<RDS 

THENGOTO 100 

180RETURN 

30000 TRAP 300 00: EC=1:GOTO tOO 

The program is, in fact, the sa^me as the 
circle program with the exception of 
hne 170. 

Here are the sho-pes thatyoticancreate 
with this program. 



SPIRAL 



40RODG = 0:ACC = 1:SPT-0.S:EX = 1: 

EY=1 

100 L1=SPT/10*L 

Hints for variations: 

The smaller SPT Js, the tighter the spiral is 
RODG rotates the spiral cbclcwise from Its 

normal 
X and Y are the coordinates of the start of 

the spiral 
RDS Is the maximum radius of the spiral 
EX stretches the shape EX Umcs hortron- 

taUy 
EY stretches the shape EY times vertically 
If you wish to change the direction of the 

spiral, swap the SfN and COS in Une 100 

aiDund 
Try changing line 100 tio; 
1 L 1 =SFr/ 1 0*L* [ 1 +COS(L) -^70) 



LUMPY SPIRAL 

Add the following lines to the base spiral 
program: 

40RODG = 0:ACG = 1;SPT = 50: 
CSP = 1; NP=8:EX-1:EY = 1 

100 L1-L*0 + CSP*COS{NP*L})/SPT 

Hints for variations: 

The larger SPT is. the tighter the spiral is 
The smaller CSP is, the smaller the lumps 

on the spiral are 
NP is the amount of lumps in one full rota- 

tton througli 360 degrees of the spiral 
EX, EY, X. Y, RODG and RDS perform the 

same functions as in 'SPIRAL' 



SPIKED SPIRAL 



10 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Load In the Base Spiml program and add the ^"^^ ^^ following lines to the base program: 

follu"Wing lines: 

Page 6's New Atan User 



11 



DISK BONUS 



40RODG=0:ACC = 1 :SPT=30: 

CSP = 0.25;NP=4;KPS=70:EX = 1:EY=1 

100L1=L*(1+CSP-COS{NP'L)^KPSV 

SPT 

Hints for variations: 

The Jargcr KPS is. the sharper the spikes 
are, but do not let KPS exceed 1 3 1 

NP=half the number of spikes In one full 
rotation through 360 degrees of the spir- 
als genersdly. If KPS^l then NP-the num- 
ber of lumps 

The larger CSP is, the longer the sptkes are 

Try making KPS odd 

EX, EYh RODG. X and Y perfoim the same 
functions as in 'SPIRAL' 

The larger SPT Is, the tighter the spiral in 

To reverse the spikes, change line 100 to: 

100 L 1 =L*[ 1 -CSP*COS(NP'L}^KPS)/SPT 



SPIRALLING POLYGON 

Add the following lines to the base program: 

40NP = S:RODG=0:ACC=a60/NP: 
SPT=0.£:EX=1:EY = 1 
100L1^SPT/10-L 

Hints for variations: 

NP is the number of sides' In one full rota- 
tion through 360 degrees of the spiral 

EX. EY, RDS, SPT. RODG. X and Y perform 
the same functions as In 'SPIFtAL' 



STAR SPIRAL 

Finally for our last varlaaon, add the follow- 
ing lines to the base spiral program; 

40MP = 4 :RODG = 0:ACG = 120/NP: 
CSP = 1:EX = 1 ;EY=1:SPT=50 
100 L1=L't1*CSP*COS[NP'Lr70) 
/SPT 



Hints for variations: 

The larger SPF is. the dghlcr the spiral Is 
'lite larger CSP is, the longer tlie spikes are 
RODG. ACC, EX, EY, X and Y perform the 

same funetions as in ^SPIRAL' 
NP-thc numi>er of spikes 
To reverse the spikes, change line 1 00 to: 
100 Ll=L*(l-CSP•COS(^fPL)'^70)i/SPT 



INFINITE VARIETYl 

With these basic programs you should be 
able Lo work out how to create Ein almost 
infinile variety of shapes smd patterns with 
your Atari. See if you can work out how to 
combine more than one shape on the screen, 
perhaps with each shape at a different posi- 
tion. You might also be able to work out how 
to combine all of the variations into one prog- 
ram so that you choose the shape you want 
from a menu. You could go even further so 
that you change the parameters simply by 
entering the numbers you want to try at an 
input prompt or even with the joystick 

Wha.tclp'er you do, have fun - all the hard 
work has been done for youl 



TURBO OR NOT? 

These program all run in ordinary Atari 
BASIC, however several of them are quite 
slow so you might prefer to run them with 
Turbo BASIC which will give you something 
like three times the speed. If you combine all 
of the shapes tagetlieras suggested above ynu 
might like tn compile the resulting program 
for super fast drawing speed- 

If you come up with a cracking program 
using these techniques be sure to let us have 
a copy. 



SPACE 
BAR 




A game of memory or chance 
by Graeme Fenwick 



The year is 20GB. Manned expeditions have explored Hie CKJt@r Solar System and establishied 
bases, there. Large scale minirig operations have already started round a number of planets, and 
the corporations can scent vast profits to be made. 

Hearing aixiut tho large salaries being paid, you offer your servioes as a rrkaintenance engineer 
to the Alitfam Minin-g Corpofation. 

"You do understand," says the woman behind frie desk, "that you 11 be working a IS month shift 
on th© moon of the remotest planet in the solar system?" 

'Tharll be interesdng," you remark absent-mindedly, the huge amounts of money being the only 
llhjr>g on your mind. "When dO' il start?" 

Ten months later, on Charon, you are firtding things Very far from 'interesting". You've only been 
here four months, and already the novel (y of the place has worn off Even working with aliens 
loses its appeal when you realise they're all as bad tempered and antj- social as everyone else 
here. The only ptace worth going in (his hellhole Is the Corporation mn pub. The Moon and Stars, 
better known to you and your friends as the Space Bar. 

Tonight might be different though, as the Space Bar is holding its annual Test of Memory and 
Skill wiih 'Ma.ssive Prizes!', Perhaps minuscule would be a better description, but you decide to 
give it a go all Ihe same... 

fi A M F PI AY ^'^'^ ^'^ seated in front of a table. The bamian, Mirfak, sits opposite. Mirlak 

XJMIVIUrLM 1 will hide a can underneath one of the covers, then,, using his talekinetic 

abilities, he'li shuffle them around. All you have to do is remember which cover the can is hidden 
under. Easy? Well, maybe 

To make things a little more interesting ^ you can choose to win more money by speeding things 
up, or having two or iimore differently coloured cans. Be warned, this makes things a lot more 
difficult. 

II you're good enough you car go on winning money forever. One mistake though, and Ihe game s 
over. 

Don't forget, Mirfak can get bad tempered at times, but his bark is worse than his bite. Usually. 



13 



pQ^ 6's New Atari User 



Fage G's New Atari User 



13 



INSTRUCTIONS 



space Bar requires an Atari XUXE with at least 64 K, 



On ihB Gtle page; OPTION is used to choos© tf» level of gameplay. 

SELECT i£ u$6d to select th« number of cans. 

START/FIRE is used to start ttie game 
DuHriig the game itself: 

JOYSTICK in port is used to control the poinief. 



SCORING SYSTEM: 



C0n0 


1 


2 


3 


4 


NOVICE 


10 


20 


40 


so 


EXPERIENCED 


20 


40 


eo 


160 


PRO 


40 


80 


160 


320 



The gam© nnoves up a lev^ ev©ry ten cans. When Pro level has been reached, you will 
being given more cans to memorise. 



start 



TPPHWIPAI ^P^'^B Bar was written in Turtio Basic XL and then compiled using the Turbo 

I tvrllilvML Compiler. The compiler behaved quite well, although it took exception to ttie 
sound effects which used DSOUND (I had to rewrite these parts), 

The graiphics were developed using Brilliance ii2,0 on the Commodore Amiga, then ported over to 
the 130XE using: a piece of cuttom sottwara This sofftware was written in AMOS Pro and lets the 
Ami-ga emulate the tape I/O noise of the XE. The XE can then read the tape as it it were a perfectly 
normal Atari cassettef I may polish this program up and release it if Anyansi is ir^terested. (For any 
purists reading, I don't regard using an AmJga to develop XE graphics any differently than I would 
using a scrap of paper to sketch them out on. Much as 1 love my 130XE, I haven't come across a 
piece of graphics software on it with as much flexibility as Amiga Brilliance has. Speed and memory 
probably come into it a tot, but Ihe fact 1 can use a mouse to draw helps a lot too, Besides, I'm no 
graphics expert, I need all the help 1 can getl}. 

The three files on the disk are the TB Runtime code, the com^nled program code, and the resource 
file This contains the two character sets used in the program - the whole screen is GRAPHICS - 
and the DLI cod© (the only machine code in the whole program). 

The Sfi&C6 Bsrcode, graphics and documentaUon are all Copyright 1996 Grs^emB Fenwfck.. Page 6 
Publishing tiave peftnission to distlbitte fha/n as part of New Atari Ussr magazine and issue Dl&H. 

This 0am0 isn't Public Domainl 



This great program ia the BONUS on this issue's disk. If you are nol fl disk 
subscriber you can still obtain a copy tor E2.9S from NEW ATARI USER, P.O. BOX 54, 

STAFFORD^ ST16 ITB. Please make cheques payable to PAGE 6 PUBLISHING or 
order by telephone writh your Visa or Access card on 017eS 2411 S3 

NOTE: THE fSSUE DISK OFTEN OCfNTAINS ADDITIONAL 
BONUS RHOaHAMS NOT MENTIONED IN THE MAGAZINE 




it's 



The TIPSTER L 




f-w A I iiL <^t ^astyou havt Btmf tiding IS* 
f/l/ ^psitr! Our pita for an epfftndtd fift 
span sums to havt ^ork^d and ^Th^ 
lipstir is out of his Bed and raring to go this 
issut. '^njoy ifiis 6ut rtmemSer ti/e stU£ nti-d tots 
mort nourisftmtnt to f:i£p The Ttpsur ktcdtktf. 
'Don 't sit Bac^ and ■■watch him dk^ send Aim 
something for m^ riwK. 



MY BACK PAGES 



Looking back Id issues 78 and 79 there were 
requests for help with HAWKgUEST, 
ZYBEX and RETURN TO EDEP*. ft s«ems 
that some help was published for these ganucs 
way back in 1990/9 1 (well 1 can't even re- 
member last week can 17) and Cliarlle 
Ayxes has dug out the following wMch 
might help those who are stiick. 



HAWKQUEST 



(PJ4!H!T3 



If you move the cursor to bottom left corner 
of the screen and press Qne the message To 
cheat prtss fine" is shown. Press fire and you 
will be taken to the flnaJ sequence of the 
game. This can also be done from the casselLc 
version. Load up the End scrcsen and anima- 
tion' tape and Ij'pc ABLTXYZZHA which Is 
made up from all fi^t levels [AB](LTl(X- 
Yl[Z53(HZ). The way to gel three easy flags Is 
to drop ground bombs aU the time until you 
get three Qags. 

ZYBEK and RETURN TO EDEN 

are "^ "^ 



Daniel Yelland has answered a plea in Issue 79 

for some help >vith Lancelot and, although he 

hasn't finished the game fDaniel has found the 

Holy Crail. Here's a few of the things that got 

him that far. 

To get past the preacher 
Make sign ofcro*s 

To get past tndiden attd cakes 
Make sign of cross 

To open tomb attd survive 

Get Galahad to open tomb once he has 
sword and shield and toll him to kill 
fiend 

To get Galahad to help you 

Pray at every cross and every church 
you come across, save maiden and Sir 
Ector(?), give chalice to pilgrim and 
blow horn at boat- Galahad will call for 
help. Attack the knight attacking Gala- 
had and God mil help you. 

To kill Red and Black dragons (hie of 

Tumance) 

Using Galahad lead the dragons to each 
other by making them chase you 

To extinguish wall of flame 

Keep throwing the Chalice at the wall 
after you have filled it with water. Get 
Galahad to do the s^me with the cup. 

To beat the eletnentnh 

Fill Chalice with water. Cup with sand 
and take horn. (Burs^ Wait 3, Throw 
Chalice), <Percival, Wait 2, throw Cup), 
(Galahad, Wait, Blow Horn), (Take key) 

Apologies if same of the. names are Vfrong as 
Daniel's writing is a little hard to read in places. 
If you have the game I am sure you can Yuork 
out any of the bits that are not quite right. 



14 



Pc^ 6'S New Atan. User 



Poge 6's Neiv Atari User 



IB 



C:Ry\.SHDI\/^E 

(Page 6 Adventure set #1 Dtsk 1 B Of disk #2a> 

Our tnisfy helper and tip supplier James Ma^hiick has omx ng^n sent In a huge bundle of tips and maps 
for various adventures tncludlug many PD adventures. As wc don'l get unany tips for the PD adventure* we'll 
start with one of these this (aaue and well bring you more In later issues. Firstly though you'll need snmc 
cxplaniitlan about the mapping system used for thl^ wi venture (believe it or not this is scitiiaJty a mapl}. 
The totatlon nuinb«: occurs on the Icfc, followed by the locaWon name. Anything under ihe nartie is an objitct 
or objects drat can be found initially at that l&catfQn, On the right is a li-il cif letlei^ and nuinbcrs. 
N,S£,W,U J3 etc, are the standard abbttvlatitms (at movement directions The tiumbec following the letter 
states which IckzeiUdo mcvement In that direction will take you to. 



Exampts; 



1 Ct3Vd 



NZ2 

S3 

E7 



In this example, location one is a cave. In the cave 1* a bear. Exits are north, gcmih^ and east. Moving north 
will lalcc the player to kK:atkiii 22. Moving south wlH move the player to location 3, and moving east will 
move the player m lot:atiDn 7. 

The advantages of the system is (hat il makes mapping much easier (no more ijonfuslng boxes and lines 
everywhere) aiMi a conventional map can easily be derived from it. The only disadvantage la that at a glance, 
It is not as easy to see which path goes where, i.e. Il makes the mappers task easier, but (be pbyer'a task 
sli^tty hafder- 



Location 

1 Escape tube 

scfewdrhf&f 

2 Forward Passage 

locked door 



i Access tunnel 

sign - rad. zone 

A Long Corridor 



S Commend Station 

periscope 



Exits to Location 



Exits to Location 



Exits to 



D2 

N3 
S4 
Ul 
DS 
W20 

N U 
%2 

H2 
SS 
E 14 

W15 

N4 
E6 
W7 
D11 



fl Crew's quarters 
card 



Navigaffonat centfO W 5 

Digital dispfay 
Tactics manuai 



7 aoitast control 
Depth Goug& 
Red Button 



E5 



9 Torpedo room 

10 Weapons bcker 

gas mask 

n Missile control 
closed olflock 

slot in aifiock 
White button 



12 Equipment Bay 

Rad suit 

U Fan room 

tFoitor 
pistol 
U Sonar eiatiork 

Bkink scann&t 
Green button 

1 5 l!adio room 
Coble cutters 



N9 
511 
E 17 

wia 

U2 

sa 

ElO 
W9 



NS 
E 12 
W13 
US 
S21 

W11 



Ell 



W4 



£4 



1 A Sonar sphere S i 

bolted down ionar 
power coble 

17 Galley W6 

duti kr^fe 

ia Shower stalls Ea 

closed grate S 1 9 

Shampoo 

19 Vent duct N 18 

to fan room 

20 Captain's Quarters E 2 
dead captain 

note 

21 Lower mjsjile bay N 1 1 
locked arming- U 22 
swltcti 

22 Upper missile boy D 21 

d!0tol display 
gold button 
silver button 



Hints B^ B^ D^ 



start the gjame on the hartlcst level 


HARD LEVEL 




1 Er^CLEDUS 


4 extra men 


2 PfTOCYON 


5 extra men 


3 CENTAURU3 


2 extra men 


4 ANTRE3 


2 txLra men 


5 BEROS 


2 extra men 




MEDIUM LEVELS 

Before golirg on to SKORPIOUS deal with NEC- 
ROS fl/^t a* your weapons are replenished. 



1 


RICTUS 


1 extra man 


2 


SKORPIOUS 


5 extra men 


3 


TrrAN 


4 extra men 


4 


BAEU3 


2 extra men 


5 


NECROS 


2 extra men 


6 


DIABLOS 


2 extra men 


EASY LEVEL 




1 


ARCTURUS 


Nil extra men 



You can have aU the Weapons at any time by- 
pressing the OPTION button but this only works 
if you havt an OMNIMON chip, {A tip supplied by 
Brian Jobllr^. authcr of Zybexl 

Td get to the restricted levels you must get all 
1 1 cjystaJs 

Each of these levels are revealed, one at a tune 
after a tokens are gained but are not accessible 
until you have aJJ 1 1 tokens 



LEVEL 13 


PYRIX 


LEVEL 14 


ZEIAX 


LEVEL 15 


CYRUX 


LEVEL le 


ZYBEX 



Use the RAIL guj^ to defeat the end of level 

guardian. Doing tills aUowa you to dLffcrcnUatc 
between the guardians and your awi\ bullets. 



HELrP IV^ANXEO 



Daniel Yelland needs some help with THE 
PRICE OF BfAGIE and wants to know how 

you find the DED spell. Also he needs to know 
how to get off the little island scene in RE- 
TURN TO EDEN. 

cJcuncs Mathrick 4necds some help with 
SNOWBAIX and ElBTURN TO EDEN. More 

specific requests wdl be included next time 
but if you have played these games to a fin- 
ish, how about sending in YOUR solutions 
and tips. 



CRASHDIVE hints 



HOLD BREATH when flrst leaving hatch - 
then find the gas mask. 

The aim is to destroy the eneniy Sub (EX- 
AMINE PERISCOPE) PUSH RED in location 7 
to buy you time. 

Get the radioactive sonar (with precautions - 
ni leave you to find those out - hut don't 
forget the shampoo) and DROP it In location 

19 to kill the traitor, 

EXAMINE the RADSUIT 

SHOOT the LOCK on the door. 

To get to location 19. UNSCREW QRATE with 
the dull knife. 

The rest is for you \o work out! 



Offer fish fungus to LEVIATHAN In ilver. 
Plant the brick In green sward with shovel 
and enter the house plant to find the fungus. 




EMBER 



Do nsthimg and The TTpster dies. Send sojre- 
thlng in ami he liues again to entertain you Jar 
another few issues. Do you reaily want The 
Tipster's demise on your coriscierxce? 
Send ii Iby parcel post if riiscessaiy) to; 
THE TtPSTER 
NEW ATARI USER 
P.O. BOX 54 
STAFFORD 
ST16 1DR 



16 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Page 6's New Atart User 



17 



Hardware 



I 





When it comes to 
commSf SIO is about 
as much use as a 
Spectrum,! Edmund 
Blake describes a 
home-built RS232 
interface that really 
works 



InteresLcd lo oomnis.? Me too, intcrcHted 
but unable to get Involved because Atari 
(In the Infinite wisdom] decided that the 
R5232 standard associated with every other 
mJcTO In the known unn'ersc wasn't suitable 
for their majchlne and, because I already own 
a Centronics Interface. [ could n't Justify the 
£40 or so needed to buy an S50 or P:R: 
Connection. I'm not exactfy an electronics 
wizard either, 1 can wield a soldering Iron with 
the best of them bat I need someone else to 
design the circuit first. What that meant was I 
knew that building an RS232 Interface at 
home was feasible but I couldn't actually 



(Well almost!) 



come up with a design. 

Enter Philip U^hitesldc and Page 6, 

A couple of weeks ago, while thumbing 
through a copy of the Page 6 PD catalogue. 1 
came across a disk of comnris programs put 
together by the once trnmensely popular Ark 
bulletin board. While skimmlrig through the 
details of what was on the disk 1 nearly fell 
o^'cr backwards - details of how to build an 
RS232 at home for around £12! Before the 
catalogue had tilt the Hoor I was passing my 
credit card number to Page 6 and the disk 
was on its way. 

When It arrived. I printed the RS232 doc file 
and set to work. Then stopped almost at once, 
Tlie instructions consist of the most incom- 
prehensible collection of double-dutch ever 
dc^'iscd. llicie's an IC pin out 'diawn' wilh 
keyboard characters which la absolutely 
awful, a few arbitrary bits of "-.- you might 
need this, but there again, you might noL, " 
advice and no details of how to actually put It 
together, connect plugs or anything! 

Don't get me wrong, I shall be eternally 
grateful to the very kind Mr Whiteside for 
devising the Interface and then putting It in 
the public domain for the benefit of us 
ebitlers, it's Just that 1 oouldnt make head 
or tail of his instructions, 



STARTING TO 

UNRAVEL 

Back to the dravuing board. I pored ovier the 
plans for a few evenings but still nothing. 
Along with the IC pln-outa, Philip had in- 
cluded a full component list complete with 
MapUn order codes so I bought a copy of the 
Maplln catalogue from W H Smiths and then 
it all started to unravel a little. The Maplln 
catalogue featured really useful pfn-out dia- 
grams for all Its chips together with helpful 
background Information- By studying this In- 
formation alongside the interface plans, a 
method of putting It together gradually 
dawned. 

And Fm here to tell you that it works! IVe 
used my 130XE, Pace Linnet and home-built 
interface to contact tJI3S"s, transfer files be- 
tween the machine and my Apple Mac Plus, 
my PC and ST. If you want an RS232 Inter- 
face for your 8 -bit but you don't have the 
money to buy a corrunercfal offering or 
enough electronics expertise to design your 
own, g^vc thanks to PlilUp Whiteside for de- 
signing it. Page 6 for supplying It and pay 
attention to the following simple instructions. 



FIRST GET THE DISK 

First you 11 need the Ark Comms disk DSfl 19 
from the Page 6 PD Catalogue. As well as 
instructions and a componcnLs list for the 
Interface, the disk contains a device handler 
which hoodwinks the computer into thlnkltig 
that there's a Datarl attached. 

Here's a tip for SpartaDOS X users. Rename 
the RS232,COM de\'ice handler to something 
you'll recognise but DOS doesn't. SpartaDOS 
has its own - Incompatible - RS232,COM driv- 
er In the cartridge and typing RS232 at the 



command line causes DOS to try and install 
the Sparta program rather than yours. The 
result Is a failure to install either driver and 
the Interface won"l work. 

Print the Instructions file from the disk (or 
copy the components list from the screen), get 
hold of a copy of the Maplin eatalogac and 
order the parts. Or. if there's a Maplln store 
close to you - mine's In Bristol - pop along 
and buy them, A nice surprise is that the 
interface is even cheaper to build than 'adver- 
tised', The main component, the MAX232 
chip which converts 5V TTL signals into 9V 
RS232 signals costs Just £3,95 - almost three 
quid cheaper than the price stated in the 
components list! 

For those who know vaguely what they are 
doing and can't get the 2-pole relay, buy two 
single pole relays and mount them in parallel 
They don't draw any more current than the 
2-pole IC and the cost for the pair is almost 
the same. 



GETTING AN 
SIO CONNECTOR 



The one Indispensable item you can't buy 
from Maplln is the Atari 13'pln SIO connec- 
tor. A few years ago these were pretty thin on 
the ground but you should be able to pick up 
and butcher an 8 -bit serial cable irom several 
sources. 

Here's how 1 got an SIO plug, 1 had a female 
9-pln Joystick connector (available cheaply 
almost evetywhcrc, including MapUn and 
Tandy's) and an old lead wilh a male phig 
that I'd cut off a broken joy atJck- 1 wanted to 
make use of these Items if 1 could, so I opened 
the case of my XC 1 2 data recorder, unsol- 
dered the SIO cable and soldered the cable 
from the joystick In its place. After noting 
which wires went to which pins on the Joy s- 



la 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Pags &'s New Atari User 



Id 



p 



\ 



tick connector, ] closed up the case. Next I 
soldered die female joysUck connector to the 
bare end of the newly bbtrated SIO cable, 
making sure that the wires coming from the 
data recorder cvcntuaUy routed as nurma] to 
the connectors In the SIO plug. En effesct, a 
stmplc through cable Joined In the middle by 
two Joystick connectors. 

Jumping ahead for Just a moment, after 
building the interface, I soldered a second 
male Joystick connector to It where aonnally 
an SIO connector would be required. 

Got that? What It ail means Is that ihe SIO 
eable can be left plugged In to the disk drive 
second SIO port, and I can switch between 
liie data recorder and RS232 Interface simply 
by plugging and unplugging Joystick connec- 
tors. TTicrc's no scrabbling around at the 
back of the drive and I didn't have to acquire 
an SIO cable (Joystick connectors are much 
cheaper). 



GRAB SOME TOOLS 

Back to the build. Vou'U need some pliers 
(needle -nosed), a screwdriver or two, a solder- 
ing Iron rated at around 15 watts and some 
solder with cores of resin. You'll also need 
some thin. Insulated wire to make jumpers 
between the vajHous components. How thin? 
Docsnt seem to maticr. Just get half a metre 
of something thinner than the wires you ace 
hanging out of the back of domestic appllan- 
oes such as the TV set and the like. Ultia 
kjw-tech, ] know, but It worked for mel Just 
bear in mind that there's plenty of margin for 
error - you won't destroy anything - and all 
wlU be well . 

One final word on safety, the relay IC which 
connecLs to your computsr has a diode which 
ensures that the Atari Is totally Isolated from 
the Interfece. Whatever you do, you can't 
daniage the computer. 
20 



BEGIN CONSTRUCTION 



Orientate the Venoboard so that the copper 
strips run horizontally. The top strip will be a 
■i-Sv rail and the bottom strip will be ground. 
Solder the DIL sockets tn plaee one 'above' the 
other just like the diagram, by pushing them 
through the holes tn the plain side of the 
Veroboard (so that their legs contact the cop- 
per strips underneath), 

Here are a few soldering tips. Tin items to be 
soldered first by heating and melting a bit of 
solder over them. When you come to attach 
components to the Veroboard. It's much 
easier if they've been tinned firsL To solder, 
hold the clean iron against the copper strip 
and the component until they art both hot, 
then briefly touch the solder against theMso 
that It flows. Remove the Iron and solder and 
hold In place until set (usually within a 
second or so). Don't try to melt the solder on 
the iron and then take it to the Job, it won't 
work. If the new Joint looks bright and shiny 
then all Is well. If the solder on the Joint is 
dull or cracked you've got a bad connection so 
melt It and start again. 

Make all the Veroboard connections as 
shown In the diagram. The capacitors are not 
marked + or - [at least, not obviously) but you 
can tell which is which by the Up' - that's ihe 
positive (+) end. 

After soldering, closely examine the copper 
strips to see whether any solder "hairs' have 
formed between them, shorting out compo- 
nents, A good idea la to score along the slot 
between each copper strip with the blade of a 
small scrcwdrlT-'crJust to make sure. Next, 
Lake a sharp knife and remove a vertical sec- 
tion of the copper strips running between tlie 
legs of the DIL sockets so that they don't 
conduct. Pins must be Isolated from each 
other unless attached with a jumper (sec 
diagram). 

The RS232 Instructions are particularly 



P«tL0Wput(plii5S)ai 




i3V(pk»)a$lQ) 






Mmot Commind (pit t SIO) 



4)i«i«li^(^3SIO) 



Qnd (plh 7 D «aiiniiOtiif) 



RS232 Interface: what it looks like on Vemtioard 

Note that the copper strips are on the opposite side to the oomponents 
cuTd are shown here for the sake of clarity 



Fwpsni) 



vague about how to handle transmit and re- 
ceive handshaking such as CTS/RTS and 
DTR/DSR. fortunately, however, you don't 
need to worry about it. Simply solder a Jum- 
per wire from pin 4 (RTS) inside iJie 25 -way D 
plug to pin 5 (CTS) tn the same plug. This will 
fool attached equtpmcnt such as modems or 
other computers into thinking tliat correct 
handshaking is taking place. The interface 
won't work without iL 



,\\ 1 



44d;ft«3^ 



\*""" 7 

\ H IS It IT tl 1« 1» II » » 14 IS / 



Pia-Duta for 25'Way D comiector (to nuodem) 



Pc^ 6's New Atari User 



TRY IT OUT 

After checking the device for bad connec- 
tions and solder hairs, youVc ready to con- 
nect it and try it out. Plug It In to the free SIO 
port on your disk drive (if you built the Inter- 
face with an SlO connector) or into the StO 
cable (If you disgorged the cable fium a data 
recorder) and connect the 25-way D plug to 

Page 6'^ W?u? Atari User 




Remember to scratch awtiy the 
copper strips bettueen IC pins 



21 



XL/XE mmw 



REM DELETER 

by Chris Bell 

Here's a handy little pFOgrajn that will take 
only a short while to type in (it'a on the issue 
disk alao) but which will save you hours of 
laborious work when yflu want to go through a 
listing to take dut EEM statements, 

All you need to do is load a program that you 
want to delete REMs from and then ENTER 
this program (you, should save it ia LIST format 
once you have typed it in). Type GOTO 32760 
and all the work will be doae automatically. To 
get rid of the listing (Tom your program you will 
have to LIST "D;YOUKPROG.BAS ',0,32750, 
type NEW, ENTER your program then SAVE it 
in the normal way. 

A great little utility and thanka to Chris for 
sending it in. 



HI 3Z7G8 POKE 75Z,ll? "H"!? ■ UiitiimJJn 

= "jf i5=l'E£m3im5&»PEEKllI7) !C=i 
m 21761 L=PEEItt5J42S6»PE£ltSnj!S=ttEKH 

'.If l<U76t TNEI ZZJil 
n 317fi2 POSITION 2,U'f ' ilUUBlMW^ 

liSiMiM - "iFREID-Fi^TDP 
CJ 32763 IF lOt THEN 5-5tPECII5i21:G0T0 

317G1 
LC U7M Pll5ITinN 2,7:? iOBBXDXBIIE 

":POSITIOi 2, a:? "OSiiEa "jL:POSIT 
ID* Z, 9; LIST L^PISITISR 2, IB:? L:? "Cfl 
IIT":PB 
HK li?«S PAKE Hl,ll\C-Z*li5:^i*nm^n} \ 
EOTQ ]Z7fil 



RS232 INTERFACE 

continued 



the modem. Boot your computer, bung in the 
disk with the RS232.COM driver and select 
the blnar>' load option L from DOS 2.5 or run 
the driver from the command line of Sparta- 
DOS (beadrig in mind the name clash men- 
tioned earlier). The driver is Installed in RAM, 
Boot BASIC and RUN ^D:AMODEM4B ' or 
RUN "D:AM0DEM7B" from the ARK Comms 
disk. When the program has loaded, and once 
you are in terroinaJ mo-dft. type ATz, If all Is 
well, the modem will return OK, Now type ATd 
together with the number of your fa\'ouritc 
Bulletin Board. The modem will dial and 
you'll be connected . If ft doesn't work, check 



all the connections, replacing any that look 
bad. There really isn't anything that can go 
wrong apart from bad connections, so it 
shouldn't be too dilBcult to get a non -working 
device going. 
And that'a iL a working, honiic-built KS252 
interface. Mine cost around £8 con:ipktet 
altliough 1 did have one or two connectors 
akieady. It should be possible to build the 
entire thing, from senitehK for around a ten- 
ner! Once again, thanks to Philip Whiteside 
for his kindness and clevierness and Page 6 
for being around to supply it. and a lot of 
other good advice too. 



Features 

and 



COMPUTER 
INTELLIGENCE 



Ann O'Driscoll 
begins a short 
series €}f articles 
exploring whether 
the computers are 
intelligent rather 
than the users 



From the time the first mainframe com- 
piiters began to appear in the 
1940s/ 19503 people began to think 
that they might be used to simulate human 
behaviour. Early computers were often label- 
led with the phrase 'electronic brain' and the 
extent to which they were capable of '"intelli- 
gent" thought became a topic of major 
concern. 

[lowcvcr, an early lesson learned by scien- 
tists trying to build mind-tike machines was 
that tasks that are hard for people are easy 
for computers and oinvcrsely, tasks that are 
easy for people arc hard for computers.. Com- 
puters are at their worst trying to do the 



22 



Page 6's New Atari User 



things that are most natural to humans, such 
as seeing, manipulating objects, understand- 
ing ordinary everyday languages and common 
sense reasoning. They are at their best when 
it Comes to sorting, selecting, comparing and 
combining data, performing calculations and 
making decisions based on data. All this can 
be done at speeds and with a degirie of accur- 
acy which people can never match. 



HUMAN WEAKNESSES 
VIS A VIS MACHINES 

The computer's strengths include its ability 
to store Infonnatlon in vast amounts [mem- 
ory) combined with an ability to process the 
data In accordance with strict procedures 
floglcal reasoning). People, on the other hand, 
aren't nearly els good at storing and recatllng 
facts - studies have shown, for Instance, that 
our short term memory - where we hold infor- 
mation for a few minutes at most when it's 
being processed - is particularly poor, with an 
average capacity of about 7 chunks of data. 
You can easily check this out for yourself, by 
trying to multiply say. 247 by 73 in your 
head] Another test Is to look at a string of 
random letters like this for a few minutes: 

whfc xiy gfrxb Idkyt aklmc mnzpU 

Now see bow many you can recall 5 minutes 
later. 



Page 6's New Atari User 



23 



If our memories aren't too good, the bad 
news Is that our logical reasoning isn't Loo hot 
either: The classic textbook example of this is 
the statcincnt 

tf she likes me, she'll go out with me 
she f^cxs out with mc 
therefore, she likes me 

This sounds like a perfectly reasonable con- 
clusion at first glance, but If you think care- 
fully about ft you'll sec that the reasoning 
here Is feulty. because tlie girl could go out 
with the guy for all sorts of reasons. It seems 
that people are always making logical eirors 
like this, because we mix up "If and "if and 
only if. Computers, of course, will always get 
things right provided we program them 
properly. 

So how do coiupiaters use their great memor- 
ies and logical reasoning abilities? Well, alj 
forms of number crunching would be a main 
area- Indeed, the first computers were created 
to calculate. The Brldsh computer. Colossus, 
completed In 1943, successfully cracked the 
German Enigma code during the second 
world war because it could scan code keys 
tenss of thousands of times faster than was 
humanly possible. At about the same time in 
America, a computer called ENIAC worked 
out anti-airemft artllleiy tables at speeds 
stmHar to Colossus. 

Tbe first Artificial Intelligence progjBjns pro- 
duced by the mid-1960s could prove 
theorems in geometry and solve algebra and 
calculus problems without much bother, 
Game playing involving logic Is another area 
where excellent performance was achieved by 
computers early on. The success of gjamc 
playing software is due Id a clear understand^ 
ing of some of the strategies used In game 
playing and to the large memories and fast 
proccasors of modeni computers - in other 
words, a combination of brute force and intel- 
ligence! In noughts and crosses for example, 
there are only a limited number of moves In 



all, BO a computer can follow every consequ- 
ence of every possible move right up to the 
end of the game and so pick the most favour- 
able option. Coniputei^ are much better than 
people when it comes to this kind of repetitive 
processing. For more complicated games like 
chess, or tvcci draughts, where the number of 
possible moves multiplies very rapidly, 
sophisticated techniques can be used to 
prune searches, 



HUMAN STRENGTHS 
VIS A VIS COMPUTERS 

'ITrie other side of the stoiy of course, is that 
computers don't have intuition, nor can they 
make sense of vague information the way hu- 
mans can, A lot of research in this area sug- 
gests that humans have an advantage over 
computers in certain tasks Uke perception, 
motion, language comprehension , lateral or 
open ended thinking, and so on because of 
the way we deal with information. For the 
most part, computers deal with data sequen- 
tially, through a single central processing 
unit. The braJn. on the other hand, is made 
up of billions of neurons connected in a com- 
plex parallel, distributed structure. Parallel 
processing irveans that different parts of a Job 
aie done at the same time; distributed proces- 
sing means that separate brain areas look 
after separate segments of a job. The brain's 
ability to split a complex task into a number 
of smaller, simpler tasks and complete those 
tasks simultaneously give it a huge advantage 
over computers In areas where these skills 
are Important, 

Needless to say. work is ongoing all the time 
to tiy and move the computer Into the areas 
where humans traditionally do best. In this 
regard, 'Expert. Systems' arc probably the 
major success stoiy of Artificial Intelligence 



NORTH OF SCOTLAND ATARf USER GROUP 



FUTURA 

THE NOSAUG NEWSLETTER 

A QUARTERL Y PUBLICATION ON DISK FOR YOUR A TARf 8-BIT 

Kttery issue ofFixtiira contains a. luealth ^f triformation. for your Atari 
8-bit irichidtng editorial, i%ews, triuia, reviews, campetttions. bociks. 
music, programming^ hard-ivare projects, desktop publishing, etc. 
PIAJS top quality sojhnare from Fu.tu.Tia.ns and th/e puhlic domain. 

FUTURA ISSUE 21 ■ OUT NOW! 

Prices: A 4'issue/6-cfisl( subscription is priced at only £10 

Bacic issues 1-16, 18 and 20 are still available at only £1.50 each 

Bacic issues 17 and 19 are 2-dislt issues priced at only £2^0 each 

Please makm cheques/p,o/9 yable to "S,J. Murray" and 9mnd to 
NOSAUG, P.O. BOX t1903, WESTHILL, AB32 6GE 



NaSAUG - AIV^A^ARl 8 HIT C/SB« GROUT* 



COMPUTER 
INTELLIGKNCE 

research. These arc computer prugrams that 
act like a human expert in predicting the 
outcomes of events or diagnosing problems. 
They do this by referring to a large database 
of specific knowledge in a given area, and by 
using rules to draw conclusions. In some- 
thing like a car maintenance system fores- 
ample, the unlrajned user would type in the 
symptoms and the computer could give a di- 
agnosis or maybe ask more questions to pin 
down the problem furtlier. Computer vision 
programs are another Eirea where rules of 
thumb about how patterns are cn be inter- 
preted arc applied to various situations - 
these generally w-ork best when ihcra's not 
too much variation In input. Aiiother line of 
approach has been to try and develop compu- 
ters to mimic the stnictun! of the brain. In- 
stead of a single CPU, these systems use 
networks of simpler processors which learn 
patterns by tjial and error. Just like the brain 
docs. 



24 



Page 6's New Atari User 



CONCLUSION 

So where does this leave things? Some peo- 
ple would say that computers are intelligent if 
they can do "intelligent ' things like piay chess 
or act as an expert system. Others would 
ai]gue thai we can't say machines are intcHi' 
gent unless they can do everything that hu- 
mans can do. The British scientist Alan Tur- 
ing, the man behind the Colossus computer 
mentioned above, came up with a test which 
said that computers could be classed as intel- 
ligent if a human, communicating with it by 
means of a keyboard and screen, could be 
fooled into thinking that he was talking to 
another human. 

The next, article wHl tnke a look atpnjgrams 
iiuxAved in getting computers to understand 
"fiatiifal languQQe", or ordinary everyday 
words typed tn at the keyboard • 



Pa^ &s New Atorf User 



29 



The CLASSIC 





Z09^ 



There is ajijih dimension beyond that 
which is known to man. It is a dimension 
as vast as space and timeless as infinity. 
It is the Tniddle ground between light and 
shajdoan, between science c^\d supersti- 
tion, and it lies beiween the pit of man's 
fears and the summit of his knowiedge. 
This is the dimension oj imagination. It Is 
an area which we coil the Classic PD 
Zone. 

Appaiently Stuart Murray ts sttU odrt/l 
in his lijepod awaiting rescue. He has 
managed to send me a sub space com- 
nvLinication and has asked that IJjR in for 
him, pending his return to Earth. I am 
delighted to do so. 



SPOOKY 



THE X-FILES COMPANION (DSlSd) ha3 
been complkd by Kevin Cooke, your previous 
PD Zont guide, with the help of Stuart Mur- 
ray. It Is a two disk sJEt looking at the popular 
television series and other relatod matters. 

Side one gives you the lowdown on the 
series, its creator, the actors, and the charac- 
ters they play. It also covers merchandise, 
fanelubs, fanzines, and Intjcmet sites. Plus 
the best and worst episodes are revjewed. 

Side two starts with episode guides for the 
first twD series. It continues with more back- 
ground Information, and looks at the Punt 



by 

Austin Hillfnan 



and Dennis Z-FIles spoof. It also poses the 
veiy Important question, 'Is Scully a thicktc?'. 
FinaUjr you tan test your knowledge of the 
series in a multtple choice quiz. 

Side three looks inlx> the contents of the real 
life X-Flles, UPO's. spontaneous human com- 
bustion, Yctl, Strange deaths, water beasts, 
retncamaUon, ghosts, astrology, alien types 
and Fortean events are covered. Aliens as 
portrayed In other TV series and tivo film 
rcvicwa are also Included. 

Side four tnvestlgates the events that occur- 
red In July 1947, 'when an aUcn craft with 
four occupants crashed at Corona, New Mex- 
ico, 75 miles north west of Ro swell. The In- 
famous autopsy footage is examined in detail. 
This is followed by discussion of some more 
recent incidents in Britain, and in the gulf 
war. Finally the disk rounds o IT with a look at 
aliens on the S-bit, with a selection of classic 
games reviewed. 

This Is an very nicely presented attempt at 
covering a very large subject, and Kevin has 
done his very best to squeeze a quart of arti- 
cles Into a pint pot of disk space, though 
inevitably the programme informattnn already 
needs to be updated to Include the later 
series. 

It wtU certainly lea\ie you wanting to know 
more. I Would suggest you Visit your Mbraiy, 
where 1 have found many interesting books 
and videos covering these subjects. 



SHOOTY 



MBCABLA5T 1 (DS76) created by Torsten 
Karwoth in 1992, is in my opinion one of the 
best shcxit-eni ups ever seen on the Atari. 

On booting up you are presented with the 
credits while the program checks what mem- 
ory you have. If it Is 126k or larger it wiU load 
a digitised sound track by Genesis, taken 
from Amiga samples. If not you get computer 
generated music- Both options come with a 
good range of combat sound effects. 

The three pages of Intro screens detail the 
controls, haiards. and power ups available. If 
you don't like the digitised music you carx 
select the standard soundtrack Instead. Op- 
tions for two players, player against computer 
or computer against computer are available. 

Press the trigger to start and you are pre- 
sented with two ships in opposition, top and 
bottom of the screen, with a barrier in front of 
each, and deflector screens randomly posi- 
tioned in front and behind the ships. 

The object seems simple enough at flrat, 
simply blast the opposing ship, but to do so 
you must first shoot holes in your barrier, 
and then his barrier, while avoiding both his 
shots and youroiwn ricochets from the deflec- 
tors. Shot3 can be deflected all over the 
screen, you can even shoot yotirself in the 
back. 

Hazards and power ups appear at r-andom 
and are collected or destroyed by shooting 
them - If the deflectors will allow you to hit 
them. As the higher levels arc reached more 
dellcctors and hazards appear 

The bombs can cause a chain reaction as 
one sets off the others, filling the screen with 



a hail of shrapnel which you must avoid if you 
can. You have nine lilies to stari^ with. Bonus 
lives are available, and you wUl need c^'eiy 
one when the bombs start to explode and the 
shrapnel begins to fly. 

So In conclusion, this Is a first class highly 
addictive game that Is SO weU presented you 
Just won't believe It la in the public domain. 

Also on this disk Is the Small Demo from 
ABBUC. This opens with a picture of a polar 
bear on an ice Hoe before going to the main 
display which has large alternating ABBUC/ 
POKEY heading, a horJ^iontal scroU, random 
stars and four bouncing bars, plus the usual 
catchy tune. 



SUNDRY 



26 



Page G's New Atari User 



SUNDRY UTimiES (#288) as Its name sug- 
gests is a collection of utUity programs tliat 
you may find to be useful, 

REBUILD will help you recover a damaged 
disk by rebuilding the directory. Any other 
damage to tlie sectors, sector chain, or VTOC, 
will have to be repaired first before using this 
program. It searches thruugh each file and its 
sector chain to produce a new directoiy, and 
can be: used Just to check a disk. Documenta- 
tion is prT>T.flded separately as weU as being 
Included In the program itself. 

FiELOCATE+ Is an aid for machine code 
programmers, It vA\\ allow you to relocate 
e^.'en non -relocatable programs to any mem- 
ory position you require. It also includes a 
disassembler. Documentation Is provided. 

SPEED SWn^li is a small prwgt^im that 
controls ANTIC and thus the speed of prog- 



Page 6's New Atari User 



27 



9{ezU5 



8-BIT PROGRAMS ON THE PC 



Rlchand Gore recently acquired a PC but, 
don't worry, he sLtll Intends to keep support- 
ing the Atari. 
He has been playing around with PCXPOR- 
MER and has converted aeveml of his soft- 
ware titles to nin tn this format on the PC. 
Currently BUBBLE ZONE and ARENA are 
available and there ajr? rnore In the pipeline. 
These progmms are being offered for sale and 
a catalogue should be available shortfy. If you 



want further details get In touch with Richard 
by sending a SAE to 

Richard Qare, 79, Sprotbor^itghRovLd^ 
Sprothorought Doncostcr, DJVS 8BW. 

MORE NEWS? 

Well, we don't know of anything new happen- 
ing, but if you pick up some news about Atari 
or the Atari world, perliaps on the Internet 
please drop us a line, so we can all share it. 



ram execution. Three speeds are available - 
normal, plus 15%, or plus 30%. Normal speed 
operation leaves ANTIC switched on. Plus 
30% operation switches ANTIC off. Plus 1S% 
operation rapidly switches AN'llC on and off 
in order to allow continued use of the screen 
display and still apeed thlngja up. Documenta- 
tion and a demonstjatlon program is 
Included. 

APPOINTMENT is one of several calendar 
programs that are about. It Is otherwise en- 
tirely unremarkable. 1 use a pocket diaiy my- 
self and I suspect so does everyone else. 

HSCROLL la a horizontal scrolling text demo 
In BASIC, simple but elTeetlve. OVERWRITE 
will delete a disk file and aero the sectors to 
prevent recovery. VERItT checks through 
your disks for problems sector by sector, 

TINY MENU Is a simple BASIC program that 
offers the ability to check the dlrectaty. run 
BASIC and Binary progranis, or reboot. 
BIOCH ART will produce monthly biorhytlim 
charts of your physical, emotional, and Intel- 
lectual cycleSn Individually or for a year 



ahead- 

D[?IVE TESTER checks the speed of your 
disk drive. As It has been written for an Amer- 
tcaji 60Hz system It reads 20% fast on British 
50Hz drives. To correct this. In line 140 
change 24*3600 to 20*3600. and all will be 
well. 

RATINGS 

THE X-FILES COMPANION 90% 

(DS129) 

MEGABLAST 1 (DS76) 95% 

SUNDRY UTILITIES (#288) 70% 

You have traveUed through another 
dimension, a dimension not only of sight 
and sound, but of mind, a land whose 
boundaries are that oj imaginatkin. Yoa 
have Just left the Classic PD Zone, • 




by Dean Garraghty 



THE AMS 
SHOWS 



A3 hinted at last issue, this time 1 will 
be getting nostalgic about the All 
Micro Shows. 
You may be thinking that the AMS showa 
haven't been going long enough to get nostal- 
gic over, but they have been going since about 
1988-ish, which Is a lot of yearst Most Atari 
8-bittera 'joined" In 1999, althougli I do know 
that BaPAUG (Colin HunC did the one in 
London the year before. In fact, the very firat 
AMS show was held In a sports hail some- 
where very obscure which I can't remember 
the name of [somewhere in the West Midlands 
r think)! 

Originally, AMS was short for Alternative 
Micro Show, which eventually became AU 
Micro Show. It was originally orgEiniaed by a 
small t-wo man team called Taurus, which 
made the early shows that bit less formal. 
Taurus were essentially a Tatung Einstein 
software supplier, and the show was original- 
ly Just for these now almost unheard of 
machines. Then the show became open to any 
"alternative" machines, w^hich basically mitant 
any old and obscure machines, like the 



Tatung, Spectrum, ZJiSi, QL. BBC, Tt-99/4A. 
Oric, and lots of other weird machlnesl 



THEY FOUND ME! 

1 first heard of the AMS show after 1 placed 
one of iny regular small ads in Micro Mart 
(yes, this v^as when you could advertise for 
free without them rejecting the ad and trying 
to Dog you an over-priced display ad Instead!), 
Taurus obviously went through looking for 
anybody who would fit Into the "alternative" 
bracket. They sent me details about the Lon- 
don show, but I just didn't have the sort of 
money ihcy wanted for a stand (i was In my 
first year at college at the time). Later they 
sent me details of AMS3. which was the first 
one they did at Stafford and ,for some reason, 
the stands were way cheaper (about l/5th 
the price of the last one), and I thencforc had 
more chance of getting a stand. EX'en so, this 
was quite early on fn my career as a supplier 
and 1 was Still at college, 1 think they wanted 
about £25 for the very smallest stand without 
any power supply. I must admit that I had 
terrible dilTicultics raising the money and I 
managed to avoid paying for as long as I could 
by sending letters to Taurus by 2nd class post 
asking alt sorts of stupid questions about the 
show- Yes, the truih Is out all these years on! 

I eventu ally raised the money and the stand 
was booked. At this point (November 1989), 1 
onlv had about 1 PD disks and a bit of 



2S 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Page 6's New Atari User 



29 



I 



software called DMS [a veiy crude early fope- 
mrmerof Dlgl-Studlo]. I renieinber that I was 
hopjng to release v2.0 of this at the show, but 
found massive bugs in It just a week or so 
before, I spent a long hard week making It 
work to seU at the show! 1 also had a Joad of 
tapes and carts, and same hardware of my 
own that 1 wanted to seU but that was about 



MY FIRST SHOW 

I can sLill remember the morning of that 
show as If it were yesterday. We were ^Ing 
down on the train [me and my parents that 
ls)t which wasn't easy with all the stuff we 
were carrying. We had arranged a lift to the 
railway station- It was a typical damp Novem- 
ber morning, and it was raining (like eveiy 
year after this as well!). We had to change at 
Birmingham station to get the train to Staf- 
ford, In typical BR style tlie guy on the station 
directed us to the wrong platform and we 
missed the train [it could have been a lan- 
guage problem - he was speaking Brum after 
all!). We caught the next tr^In, but we got to 
Stafford about 9:30, and the show opened to 
the public at 10:00. We managed to get In the 
hall, and then tried to find the stand. We were 
totally lost, so I asked somebody who turned 
out to be Colin Hunt, The stand we were 
supposed to have had been nicked by a QL 
supplier, so I ended up nowhere near where I 
was supposed to have been (next to a Spec- 
trum software auppUer of all people!). We 
frantlcal^ threw eveiythlng on the stamd and 
Just waited. At this Ume I didn't have ANY 
Rales experience bchmd mc, and really just 
didn't have much of a clue about promotion 
and such Elkc, The other problem was that i 
couldn't afford a power supply for the day. so 
I had no way of demonstrating any of my 
stuff. 



At 10 a.m. the doors opened, and T wag 
totally amazed at the number of people who 
came through, I must have spoken to hun- 
dreds of people that day, many of whom are 
stiU customets now! I managed to sell quite a 
few copies of what I had, I was also cleaned 
out of all my used software and hardware, I 
think I went home with about £150, which to 
me as a student was a massive amount of 
money! In fact, this is probably the only show 
at which I made a profjtl I also bought my old 
XMM-SOl printer for £50, which was a fan- 
tastic bargain and went on to last me 4 years, 
I found the printer by accident after goinfi 
round all the stands asking If anybody had 
any Atari disk drives. One guy said no, but he 
had some printers at the back of the stand. 
The deal was done and 1 went home happy! I 
also bought a copy of SAM (the talking prog- 
ram) for £ 1 0, which thrilled me! At the end of 
the day the taxi picked us up and wie went 
back to the station. My flrst show everf I was 
on a massl^ie high, and I remember not being 
able to sleep that night] 



GETTING TOO COCKY! 



I remember that soon after the AMS show, 
there was a show in Tamworth. Being on a 
high from Lhc AMS show I decided to do tills 
show as well. What a BIG mlstakel It was 
basically thrown together by two guys who 
didn't have a clue! There were only about 6 
Stands, and about the same number of visi- 
tors! I lost a lot of mon^ on this show. 



A TRIP FROM WALES 

By AMS4 (November 1990) I was in my flrst 
year at University, lliis presented a bit of a 
problem, because I was over In Aberystwyth 



and the show was on a Saturday, but I had 
lectures on the Friday so I couldn't realty 
slope off the day before. The solution was to 
catch the very ffrst train out of Aberystwyth at 
about S a.m. on the day itself. This was no 
easy task! I was living on the campus whieh 
was only about a mile from the station (to be 
honest, everywhere in Aberystwyth was only a 
mile fnom the station!}, but getting all my gear 
to the station at this time In the morning was 
to prove dtfUtult I had all my Atari gear at 
University so all this had to be carted off to 
the show (by this year I could afford a power 
supply for the day!). 

I managed to borrow a couple of very large 
suiteascs (which became my trademark In 
later years!), and eveiythlng fitted in these 
quite nicely. However, getting them to the 
station required some effort. My first thought 
was to book a taxl. Most wouldn't come out so 
early, and the few that would wanted stupid 
an»unts of money. I think one wanted £20!! 1 
decided that I would have to walk, IVow these 
sultca:ses were so heavy that they would bare- 
ly lift off the floor, and I had TWO of themf 1 
could only walk about 1 00 yards and then I 
had to stop for a rest- I set off about 4 a,m. for 
the station, and arTived about 10 minutes 
before the train went! I had to change at 
Woherhampton for the train to Stafford. 1 
remember that there were some problems be- 
cause some trains were badly delayed due to 
a strike or something at Manchester. Luckily, 
my train wasn't affected, 

I hit problems on the train to Stafford be- 
cause somebody took offence to my two large 
suitcases and started to give my a load of grief 
about It, I Just put up with this ben^ause I Just 
wanted to get to the show. 

1 arrived at SlaiTord about 9 a.m. and jum- 
ped into a tajd to the show, I remember the 
driver was asking me about the old Aquarius 
machines, which he had recently been given. 1 
remember giving the guy a Rver for a £2 
Journey and telling him to keep the change I 



He was pretty stunned (and so was I later 
when 1 realised what I'd done!). 

That day I met up with my old mate BUI 
Todd who was sharing a stand witii mc and 
who was selling off all his old Atari gear. Also, 
my parents had brought some jJeople down 
and they brought the essentials like food, and 
the TV for the computer set-up (theiu was no 
way 1 could get a TV on the train!). 



THE fflGH POINT? 

By this year the AMS show was pretty much 
well established and quite a few people knew 
me fmm the year before. The show was also 
promoted more profEssionally, and there were 
a lot more stands and more visitors. We only 
had a 6ft. stand, which was tiny because we 
were in between Page 6 and Micro Discount 
who had massive stands tn comparison) I 
remember Micro Discount had a MASSIVE 
amount of stuff from Atari, all of which was 
sent back to Atari as not working. The pile of 
stuff stretched all the way along the back wall 
and went rigjit Up to the roof! By the end 
there was almost nothing left! 1 had managed 
to get a load of good PD from the US> so I had 
a bt more stuff to scQ! i also had more used 
tapes and stuff, which sold quite nicely. We 
were a bit short of space, but most people 
managed to see us. The best deal of the day 
for us was a load of cheap 5,25" disks we 
were selling at about £2 a box. We had 
actually done a deal with another company 
just two stands down from us, and bought 
them out of disksl Yes, that's where they 
come fm^m if you were one of the many people 
who bought blank disks from us that day! The 
cost of the stand for that day had gone up 
quite considerably, and I think I only Just 
about made a profit] It wasi still a great day 
that I remember quite fondly. 



ao 



Page 6's Neiv Atari User 



Page 6's New Atari User 



31 



A REALLY BIG 
STAND! 

BJ/AMS5 (November 1991] I hit a bit of a 
prublcm. That very early train from Abery- 
stwyth didn't exist any more [lypieaJ BR!). The 
first train out wasn't until about 7 a.m. , 
which was useless for me. Tlie onJy solution 
was to go up to Doncaster on the Friday and 
travel down to StaJTord from Doncaster on the 
day itself. This meant skipping some lectures, 
which I didn't feel too comfortable about, but 
1 had no choice! I also had another problem, 
though I didn't know it at the time! The guy 
who was supposed to be driving us down 
couldn't make it which left mc with no way of 
getting to the show. Luckily, Mike Blenkiron 
stepped In at very short notice and saved the 
day. 

For some reason, the stands this year were 
amazingjiy cheap and 1 remember having my 
bi^ggest stand ever - 24 feet! it was so big, you 
had to shout to eaiih other to be heardl This 
year my PD library had grown quite consider- 
Jsly, and I also had the first working part of 
Dlgt-Studlo on sale for the first time. I also 
had a load of used softwEire and hardware^ I 
had bought the hardware earlier tlriat year 
from Micro EMscoant at a radio rally, i had 
spent quite a lot of time getting it working 
prtsperly over the summer, and now It was 
time to sell Itl And sell it did! 1 was totally 
cleaned out by the end of the day! 1 spent the 
entire day demonstrating and trying to sell 
that first part of Digf -Studio- It didn't really do 
an awful lot at this stage. It only had the 
keyboard player and a very basic tune player, 
but no way of creating your own tunes. I was 
after a frver a copy with a printed manual 
(which you may remember I had only Just had 
printed the day before! - read the review of 
AMS5 on one of the old Ncws-Dlska to find 
out more about thlsj, which I thought was a 



good deal, and so did about 15 people who 
bought a copy! "Visitors to this show may 
remember I had it running aU day with the 
volume of the TV turned up very loud. The 
theory - If It makes a noise tl^ey'Il come and 
see what it iai 
I think I probably did make a small profit 
that day, mosdy because of the hardware, but 
the coBfaj of the show were massive because of 
the hire car and the petrol, I enjoyed tlie '91 
show a lot. It still had a great atmosphere and 
It was at this show that Mark Keates and Paul 
Saunders came along and helped for tlie first 
time, These guya still tag on even nowl 



END OF 
UNIVERSITY DAYS 

AJV1S6 (November 1992) was the last show I 
did as a student. It was also the first year we 
were stuck on the side wall, next to a fire door 
and a leaking roof! in 1992 I was in my final 
year at University, and work was. piling up, ] 
found It T,'ery dttflcult to prepare for this show. 
Again, I had to miss lectures on the Friday, 
but I think i didn't miss an awful lot. I also 
spent a lot of time during tlie week leading up 
to this copying loads of disks. It was at thla 
show that I was finally ready to release a full 
working version of Dlgl-Studio, and 1 was rac- 
ing against time to get It working properly! I 
didn't have problems with the manual tills 
year because I printed them all out on A4 
using the University laser printer, which 
actually cost me a lot less than using the 
University photocopier, so vrark that one out! 
We Eiliso did some sort of deal which got you 
issues 1-9 ofthe News-Disk for a fiver, I had 
copied 10 sets of these, which sold out after 
about a couple of hours, so we had to keep 
copying more. 

This year 1 had a shnUar problem to the 



32 



Page 6's New Atari User 



prevloiiJs year's show because Mike Blenkiron 
was unable to drive me down, but I only 
found out about this a couple of weeks before 
the show. A quick begging phone call to 
Richard Gore and all was well! We also had 
Bill Todd with us again, who was living near 
Doncaster at this stage. He was stuck in the 
back of the van with aU the stock! That '92 
show was probably the last good one we 
actually did. There was stUl that good atmos- 
phere, and I wasn't under any real pressure 
to make money, which allowed for quite a 
relaxed time. Again, my main task was to sell 
as many copies of DigJ-Studlo as possible, but 
this was no easy task at £12 a copyl 1 think I 
sold about 10 copies, which wasn't too bad, 
although I had produced about £5 copies so [ 
went home with a loadi [ also remember sell- 
ing quite a lot of PD disks at tlils show, which 
certainly doesn't happen these daysl 



DGS IS BORN 

In November 1993, I did my first AMS show 
as Dean Carraghty Software, rather than Ju&t 
plain old m^c as a student enterprise!! It may 
not sound like a big difference - we had the 
same stuff, the same people behind the stand 
and such like, but it was very different to 
shows of the past. Tills time it was Important 
to make a profit, or at least break even, which 
put more pressure on me and ruined the 
great atmosphere of shows past. You may 
remember that I had Harald from PPP Ger- 
many over for this show, which was a great 
experience for all involved. We were mainly 
concerned vrflh showing the public the new 
PPP range for the first time, along with show- 
ing our newly formed printed magaainc. The 
magazine caused us some problema, as you 
may have read in the review we did for this 
show. 

It was very difficult to have a good atmoa- 
phcrc because for the first dme ever I was 



prccfccupled with boring things like profit 
margins, sales targets and that sort of thing. 
The stand had cost a MASSIVT amount of 

money now that I was operating as a com- 
pany, rather than a user group, and Just 
trying to recover this was a big headache, 1 
remember being quite disappointed that day, 
but compared with shows to come It was 
relatively goodl 



TWICE A YEAR 

In 1994, the show was to become a twice 
yearly cvcnL With one show In April and the 
other in No\.xmbcr. The April 1 994 show was 
excellent because we managed to scU a stack 
of used hardware and software and actually 
made a very good profit for the first (and lastl] 
time ever. Indeed, I made such a good profit 
that day that It enabled me to get into other 
things, such as supplying disks and things. 
However, things were to get quits bad at all 
shows from then on. As the Atari S-blt user 
population decreased, so did the number of 
people visiting the Atari stands at the show, 
and sales slumped to a point where we Star- 
ted losing moTi^, 



GREAT TIMES 

1 have had some fantastic times at the AMS 
shows, and I have many many fond memor- 
ies, especially from the very first ones I did. 1 
have had the opportunity to meet and work 
with some great people at these shows, and 
this has led to other tilings and work oppor- 
tunities, f am still in some doubt whether I'll 
be doing any more AMS shows, so if I don't do 
any more I would like to thank everyone who 
has come along and bought from us at these 
shows, and all the people who have volun- 
teered their time to come and help mc out. • 



Page 6's Neiu Atari User 



33 



r 



Features 

and 



ADVENTURES.. .why Bother? 



Totally coTnmitted 
adventurer James 
Mathrick attempts 
to convince you 
why you should 
succumb to the 
world of adventure 



Oksy, so the dtJe may not be Very ori- 
ginal, being a blatant rlp-ofT of tlie 
titles ofDanfcl Bavcratock's articles 
[NAU Issues 71 and 72). but the qucstton has 
to be asked, After all, a lot of fuss was made 
about adveaturea In the early days of Atari, 
and they still remain popular today - so 
what's the big deal about them? 



WHAT IS AN 
ADVENTURE? 

Brillig (one of the Tipster's ancestors) Ruui- 
med adventures up as 'a fantasy which you, 
the hero, have to esplore, often with the ob- 



ject of finding treasure or rescuing princes- 
ses, and generally being a hero." 

'I'he line between arcade games and adven- 
tures w'as \Ttry fuszy In the SO's. In his book. 
Atari adventures'. Tony Bridge Included 
arcade adventures {or Arcventures for short) 
and games like Jumpman within his defini- 
tion of adventures. I. however, will noL Do 
not, however, confuse arcventures with 
graphic adventures which will be dlseusstad 
later. 

Adventures arc also known aa Interactive 
no^.'els, in other words you will be presented 
with the stojyline by the computer and you 
must make the choices In the stoty as the 
majn character 

To reach an understanding of adventures, 
we will look at each aspect of them tn turn. 

THE DISPLAY: Upon booting up an 
adventure, you will usually be greeted by an 
introduction, a text description of the first 
location, and a prompt- Some adventures also 
Include a constant display of the turn num- 
ber, your score, exits from the location and 
your inventory fwhat you're holding]. Graphic 
adventures iwtll also have a pic tun: of the 
location, usual^ taking up half the screen. 

THE LCXIATION DESCRIPTXON: This 

will vary with the quallHy of the game, memory 
restriction, and whether the adventure is disk 
based. 
At the lowest level (e.g. Level 9) the descrlp- 



34 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Hon will be something like 

"You are in a cave. Exit south' 
which Is not terribly exciting. Better adven- 
tures (e.g. Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls etc.) will 
have dcscnptlons that Gil a screen, or more, 
describing everything from sights to smells. 
This kind of description will allow the player 
to become more Involved with the adventure. 

THE CHARACTER; There are three 
types of character interaction: 

Computer-puppet type: this description will 
be something like 1 am in a forest. What do 1 
do now?' 

Character-puppet type: this wa-? used in 
Le\'e] 9's adventure Lancelot', The description 
for this type would go 'Lancelot was in a 
forest. What did he do then?' 

First-person type: this type la used In most 
adventures. The description would go You are 
In a forest. What now?" 

The differences between the 1ypes Is slight, 
but the effect is great - 1 personally prefer the 
last type, as it allows the ad^icnturc to become 
much more personal. 

THE PRO^SPT: As you can see above, tJie 
prompt will usually be something along the 

lines of 'What now?', although some games 
will provide symbol prompts e.g.' ===>'. 
The prompt Is where you type your Input As 
the main character in the story, you have to 



perform your actions through the keyboard, 
that is you type in the actions you want to 
perform within the game and press RETURN. 
Whether your input is understood or allowed 
depends on the quality of the parser a 
routine in the program that deciphers your 
inputs for the computer. 

A hint for beginners: In older or lower quality 
adventures, the parser will assume the first 
word you t>'pe Is the T.'erta, and the second is 
the noun, I,e, READ BOOK will be under- 
stood, whereas EffiAD THE BLUE BOOK ON 
THE SHELF will not be understood, usualty' 
resulting In the response 1 don't understand' 
or Tfou can't read a THE\ If you follow the 
traditional verb -noun Input, however, you wUl 
avoid a lot of frustration. 

Some ad\'cntures, notably fnfocom, will 
understand near-English inputs but as a har- 
dened adventurer. I tend tjo use the input 
GET KET instead of GET THE RUSTT KEY 
FROM LTNDER THE TABLE' - much less work! 



COMMON FORMS OF 
COMMUNICATION 

There follows a short list of classic verbs that 
most adventures will understand. 

GO/MOVE: Moving around in the adventure 
is usually by means of compass directions. 



Page 6's New Atari User 



3B 



NORTH. SOUTH-WEST etc. although, after 
years of abbreviation, these will usually be 
shortened to N.S.E;W,NE.SW.SE. and NW, 
Some games will also understand GO CAVE 
or RUN CAVE, which will take you directly to 
that location. You will also need U(p) ajid 
D(own), as well as OUT and IN, Shortening IN 
to I, however, may be confused with INVtn- 
tory. 

IhfV(entory): this will give you a list of what 
objects your character is carryinj|. 

GET/TAKE : If you type GET C01«, and the 
coin Is In the room, and not glued to the floor 
or anything, then you should end up with the 
coin In your Inventory. 

DROP/LEAVE: Moat programs have a limit 
to how much you can reallstlcalty carry In 
your inventory, aoyou ivill often have to 
DROP an object in a room once Its usefulness 
Is over. 

EXAMINE: Possibly the most useful com- 
nrnnd - It allows you to take a closer look at 
an object or location - It may yield a clue or 
even a hidden object, READ ofts^ has a simi- 
lar effect, 

LOOK: Often this reprints the description of 
the location, although It Is sometimes used as 
EXAMINE, Remember to trj- verb forms Uke 
LOOK UNDER or LOOK BEHIND, 

QUIT: Stops the game - usually you will be 
asked 'Are you sure? Y/N' when you type 
QUIT. 

OPEN: Used for doors, chests etc sometiraes 
you will have to UNLOCK the object first. You 
may also have to CLjOSE it after you too. 

HELP/HINT: This may reveal a cty^ptlc, or not 
so cryptic clue with the game, a contact 
addncas, or nothing. It's always worth trying, 



HIT: Some form of violence may work against 
doors, although rarely wfH you have to resort 
to violence agjdnst other characters. 

'#4*?!; Swearing Is often understood by a 
parser, and ulU usually evoke some humor- 
ous response, such as 'Such language!' or 
'See how many others I recognise!'. Don't ex- 
pect Lhc parser to recognise cveij swear word 
and variation you know, however! 

SAVE/RESTORE: Another vital function of 
an Eidventun: - always SAVE your positHon in 
the ganie if you are trying something danger- 
ous - if you are killed off you will lose all of 
the hard-won pnjgress you have made. Varta- 
tions on this include RAM SAVE and OOPS. 



WHAT IS THE POINT 
OF ADVENTtJRES? 

So what have we got so fai7 A world pre- 
sented In story -bonk form In which you can 
explore and manipulate objects. Is It only a 
poor Imitation of virtual reality then? Hot so. 
The main difference between adventures and 
VR (apart from the fact that the pictures In 
your mind are better than those In a VR 
helmet} Is that adventures have a point, a 
goal. 

ITiie traditional goal of adventures Is to And a 
set number of treasures and deposit them, 
usually In, or near, your starting location 
reaching a maximum score when this hap- 
pens. Over the years., however, the quality of 
adventures has Improved as has the goals. 
Modem adventures will have you running 
aPDund trying to reconstruct a legendary bow, 
a magic bracelet or raise enough cash to pay 
off debts. Now It seems it Is as It should be - 



3G 



Page 6's New Atari User 



the only limits are the limits of the imagina- 
tion. Add to this plenty of minor sub-plots 
and goals and adventures start to become 
Interesting. However, it would not be much 
fun if you just walked aipund, picking up the 
treasures and collecting points. For a fuU 
adventure, you need some challenge. 



PROBLEMS 

In the flret adventure. Adventure" written by 
Willie Crowther and Don Woods on a main- 
frame, the only thing Stopping you picking up 
the treasure scattered around a tunnel com- 
plex were dwarves and other auch brings 
which needed to be killed in onder to progress. 
Needless to say this could become tedious 
and unexciting. Luckily adventures have evol- 
ved, and problems are more complex and the 
logic of adventure programmers seems to get 
more and more obscure. Great fun! 

Problems fell Into several categories (In order 
of difficulty and fun) 

OBJECT POSSESSION: For example, hav- 
ing garlle In your inventoiy stops the vampire 
biting you when you walk Into the vault. Or 
having tlie ID in your inventory means you 
can walk into the security area without being 
stopped by guards. This kind of problem re- 
quires little brain power. 

OBJECT MANIPULA TtON: lying the rope to 
the tree in order to climb the tree, standing on 
the chair tn reach the shelf - you know the 
sort of thing. 

CHARACTER MANIPULATION: Wandering 

around the adventure world, other than your- 
self, there is usually a whole cast of other 
characters, sometimes termed 'monsters' re- 
gardless nf their disposition. ASKlng them 



stuff or TALKIng to them will often yield clues, 
and some adventures require you to order 
them to perform actions hi order to complete 
problems. 

CHAtN PUZZLES:Tbis, is the best type of 
problem, To give an example (also quoted by 
Rrillig] from a Scott Adams advx:nture, you 
have to wake a dragon with some bees, which 
have to be caught In an empty bottle - after 
you have covered yourself In mud in order to 
stop them stinging you. Tlie bottle is full at 
first and needs to be emptied onto some lava 
in order to reach a treasure. 
Asyou can sec. chain puzzles can get com- 
plicated, and they are often a mixture of the 
other types of problems, but linked together 
by logic howc^-er obscure It may seem. 

MiND PUZZLES: Anagrams, magic squares, 
riddles and locking systems have all been 
used to varying effects. Anagrams are good If 
subtly used as clues, although the other mind 
puzzles may become inluriattng If they cannot 
be solved and may detract from the game. 
Programmers - use this type of problem with 
great care) 



OBJECTS 

All that is really left to mention are the ob- 
jects. Again, the programmers' imagination is 
the limit - prepare to face gold bars, exploding 
birds, magic charms and so on- Prepare to be 
surprised. 

What we am left with is an alternate reality, 
which is under the dual control of an Atari 
programmer and an Atari owner - you can 
can see why adventures can be so exciting. 



Page G's New Atari User 



37 



HOW DO YOU PLAY WHAT MAKES A 
AN ADVENTURE? GOOD ADVENTURE? 



Mainly by gritty perseverance, months of 
fmstratlem and elation and sheer inventive- 
ness. Unhelpful? Okay, here are a few 
pointers. 

Look around each location and examine every- 
thing in dsJail. Due to the Atari's limited mem- 
oiy, prograjtimers cannot afTord many red 
herrings, so it could be aaid that eveiy object 
has a purpose, and ElXAMlning them may 
provide some helpful clues. However, this rule 
la regularly broken so exercise caution and 
common sense - examining the large meat- 
l^rtnder shaped machinery next to the warn- 
ing sign too closely i*iould not be recomniren- 
ded - not without saving you possitjon, 
anyway. 

S^V0 yenif posivofi bsiora attsmpling anything 
fisky - or save regularly for that matter, in 
case you missed a problem early on in the 
game. If only life was this simple. 
M^e a map, What with Level 9 boa^jtlng 
7000+ locations in SlHoon Dreams, you are 
going to get lost - so make a map. Always 
have a pencil and a supply of paper at hand 
before attempting an adventure, especially if 
it has a maze in 11 - more about these later. 
Tfy ttiB unusuaf. Of coui^te in leal life you 

wouldn't dream of sliding down the 
mountain in the tea tray or trying to 
eat the wardrobe, but 
this isn't real life - 
save your position 
and try the stupid. 
"— ,( WS'^at^'^^T Even If it doesn't 

get you any- 
where, you may 
get a funny 
response. 




This section is aimed at those of you plan- 
ning to write an adventure or those thinking 
of buying some adventures. 

GRAPHICS OR NO GRAPHICS? 

This Is still an undecided and heated argu- 
ment amongst adventurers - in the end it Is 
down to personal preference, so a GRAPHICS 
OFF option is good. The argument against 
graphics Is that tJie only graphics computer 
you need is lodged inside the human skull. 
However graphics, especially well-drawn 
graphics, will demonstrate the Atari to Its full 
potential and enforce the author's desire to 
create a real world. 

It's up to you. 

PET HATES 

MAZES - Infamous amongst adventurers, 
these location-fillers and time-wasters Infuri- 
ate and frustrate adventurers and show a 
lack of imagination on the part of the au thor. 
So there, 

PEDANTRY - Having to UNLOCK the door 
with the iron key befoiB pushing the handle, 
with your hand, before you can OPEN the 
door. This is stupid. All you should need is 
OPEN DOOR 

RESTRlCnVE VDCAB - especial^ In the 
case where the locatton description tells y<ju 
THERE IS A HUT HEflE, and die parser not 
understanding the noun tiUT. Aaargghhl 

ARTTFICMLZTY' which stems from limited 
prugramming e.g. there will be a routine 



which lists the objects In the locations after 
the description. If there are no items in a 
location, you will sec the phrase Tou can sec 
a,' And if you happen to wander Into Heaven, 
you will probably receive a description of the 
wondrous splendour of Pearly Gates and so 
on, followed by the phrase 'God Is here.' Anti- 
climax, isn't It? What you really want is a 
passage describing the msignlflcence and 
power He radiates, rather than the Imperson- 
al statement above. 

Also, kjcadons should fit In with each other - 
In order to get into Heaven in the first place. 
you should have to die. or experience some 
near-death experience, I know that I said the 
author's should let their imagination run 
wild, but there should always be an under- 
lying base of logic and reality behind a g^me. 

Combine this with competent programming 
and crafted text, and you should avoid the 
artificiality mentioned above, which basically 
destroys the world the adventure Is striving to 
create. 



a gMd adventure into an excellent one - but 
never "crack jokes' In an adventure - after the 
umpteenth placing of the game, the same joke 
will be wearing quite thin, and will annoy the 
player. 



WHAT MAKES 
AN ADVENTURER? 

Hopefully, you do. If you were not one before, 
I hope this article helps. Just tty anything 
your Imagination can think of, remember that 
the verb list above Is not the definitive list and 
remember to try the unusual. 

Be prepared for long hours over a hot 
keypad, reams of paper, frustration, elation, 
and probably some form of caffeinated bever- 
age. However, seeing as most of you are dedi- 
cated progTammers, you will already be used 
to thatl 



DECENT ADVENTURES WANNA START? 



My last word Is on decent adventures which I 
believe should be deep, that Is the player, 
although not allowed to venture to far from 
the plot, should be able to deviate slightly 
from the story only to be devfiated back to it in 
a humorous Eind bclic\'able way by the 
author. 

For cjcample. In the Infocom game Witness, 
you do not need to hit Sergeant Dufl^" [a 
CO- character) in order to complete the game 
but if you do, he "slaps you right back. It 
hurts too,' A lesser game would have said Tm 
not violent' or You do not need to HIT DUFPV 
to complete the game' or, even worse, 1 don't 
understand'. 

This leads onto another point - a lively sense 
of fun and a good blend of humour will make 



Page 6's Neiv Atari User 




Page 6's New Atturi User 



If you are looking to start in adventuring, a 
good, inexpensive option would be the Adven- 
ture Set 1. or Aura Adventures (PD#251) from 
Page 6. Commercial adventures, past and 
presenL arc hard to come by, but Infocom 
and Magneljje Scrolls are very beginner- 
friendly. 

If you are interested In writing adventures, 
why not try the Wizard Adventure Creator 
from Page 6 (PD# 1271? 

Happy adventurlngi 

Many thanks tn Briltig, for his articles, and 
ToTvy Bridge, for his book, from which i gained 
the inspiration for this article. HopefiiUy I have 
not unjoDnsctoitsIy plagiarized these sources 
too much • 

39 



PROGRAMMING 



CONSTANT CONVERTER 



John FosketVs new 
program saves you 
memory by m,aking 
constants into 
variables 



The List of varlfltales to replgce often 
used constaiits in a BASIC listing Is a 
well known memory saving technique. 
Briefly a constant nequlres 10 bytes of mem- 
ory storage whilst a variable requires onJy 4 
bytes which Is a saving of 6 bytes of memory 
each time a variable Is used In the place of a 
constant. Using this technique, it is possible 
to gain a saving of about 1 0% In memory 
space, depending of course on the size and 
type of listing being considered. Obviously a 
large program where many different often 
used constants can be replaced with variables 
would represent the greatest saving In mem- 
oiy. Using variables to replace constants has 
other advantages other than memory sa^'lng 
as variables are aiccesscd quicker than con- 
stants resulting In an increase In program 



speed, albeit only slight. Another advaAtage Is 
that It gives more variables to change when 
protecting a program listing. Atari BASIC 
allows for up to 128 variables and Turbo 
BASIC allows for up to 256 so why not take 
advantage of them? 



AUTOMATIC 
CONVERSION 

The program presented here will convert all 
the constants found in a listing w^hich appear 
more than tJiree times and which m.atch the 
programs conversion data, into variables, I'he 
program Works by reading an ASCII file of the 
listing to be converted from disk and analys- 
ing and counting Its constants and then writ- 
ing the converted file back to the disk again 
as an ASCII file. 

When a constant is converted Into a variable, 
a prefix letter is inserted in front of the con- 
stant so that, for example, using the letter "W 
the constant 712 becomes N7 12. 

Any number found within double quotes 
such as for printing text onto the screen or for 
defining slringa is NOT changed by the prog- 
ram and any number following a FtEM or a 
DATA Hlstement is also NOT changed. Any 
constant that follows a line number reference 
Instruction such as GOTO, GOSUB, THEN. 
etc- is also not converted Into a variable. 



THE OUTPUT FILE 

The output file written to the disk as an 
ASCII file Is IdentleaJ to the Input file with the 
exception that many of its constants wiU have 
been converted Into variables. A subroutine is 
added to the end of the listing beginning on 
line 32000 to define the newly added vari- 
ables and & REM is written to line 31999. The 
line numbers increment in tens In the normaJ 
way with five defining Instructions per line 
and RETURN appesirs alone on the final Unc. 
A GOSUB instruction Is added to the start of 
the listing on line zsero to call the subroutine. 
Hence it folbws that these line numbers, that 
is line zero or greater than 31998 must not 
appear within the INPUT file. If these line 
numbers are found In the Input file then a 
listing error will result. 

Onee the OLTITUT file has been written to 
the disk, it is then a simple matter to ENTER 
it in the normal way. The variable defining 
subroutine may be left at the end of the list- 
ing or if required, it may be Incorporated Into 
the listing's initialising routine. 

The subroutine defines the variables directly 
as follows [using the letter "N") N0=0 Nl=l 
N2=2 N3=3 N4=4 etc, but it may be rational- 
ised by hand to save even more memory as 
follows N2=N1+N1 N3==IV2-»-Nl N4=W3+W1 ete. 
The point here is that adding, subtracting, 
mulUplytng. ete. two variables together means 
using 8 bytes [4 per variable) resulting In 



saving a further 2 bytes over using a con- 
stant Note that there Is no need to equate NO 
to zero because all variables are automatically 
zeroed whenever a program is run and there- 
fore NO will be equated to zero automatically. 
Also note that any number raised to the 
power of is equal to L 



CONVERSION DATA 

As previously stated, the program works by 
comparing its conversion data with the con- 
stants found within a listing and therefore 
any constant found within a listing which 
does not appear in the program's data wlU 
NOTf be converted Into a variable. 

The program's conversion data contains ail 
the numbers between and 25S inclusive, 
numbers representing the DL/DLl/VBI vector 
registers. 512/513, 560/561 and 546 to 549. 
the colour registers 704 to 712 and some of 
the commonly used PMG registers. The data 
also contains some other often used register 
numbers such as 559. 752, 764, etc The 
program has the provision to Include extra 
data aJong with the standard conversion data 
to cover the lesser used constants should 
they be required. 



USING THE PROGRAM 

The first process Is to LIST to disk the prog- 
ram listing which is to have its often used 
constants convertEd into va.rtables. 

When the program is run, a lined screen is 



40 



Page 6's New Atari User 



Page G's New Atari User 



41 



presented for clarity send a prompt wtth a 
flashing CTirsor Invites the file name of the 
Input ASCII file to be entcitd. After entering 
the file name, several checks are performed to 
ensure ihal the ftlc name Is legal otherwise 
the entry la cleared and a new entry is pnarap- 
ted for. A default file name of PROGI?AM.LST 
has been included which is entered by simply 
pressing RETURN. The file name for the out- 
put file is then eatahltshed using the same file 
name as the entered input file but with the 
extension "VAR" whether or not the input f^Ie 
naiiic had an extensiDn. For this reason, the 
Input file name must not use the; extension 
VAR 

After the input file nam,e has been success- 
fully entered, the next step is to enter the 
variable prefix letter which Is prampted for 
again with a flaslilng cursor. Any letter from 
"A" to "Z" may be entered (without pressing 
RETURN), the letter "N" being the default en- 
tered by pressing RETURN as well as by 
pressing the "N" key. At this point ESCAPE 
may also be pitB&ed to exit. 

After entering the variable prefix letter, a 
prompt is presented to add extra data to the 
standard conversion data, 'fhls option is 
selected either by pressing "N" for no or "Y" for 
yes or again ESCAPE may be pressed to exit. 
Here the default is "N"' to use only the stan- 
dard conversion data. Upon pressing "N" for 
no or RETURN, the standard data Is loaded, 
after which the option to press RETURN to 
continue or ESCAPE to exit is given. If T" (for 
yes to add extra data) was selected, then the 
maximum of 30 extra data values is prompted 
for and each value entered is displayed on 
screen In 6 columns of 5 entries per column. 
Before an entry is accepted, it is checked 
against the stajidard data and any previously 
entered data tn onder to avoid repeated values 
being entered. To clarify the oolumna of extra 
data on screen, they an; preceded by the 
previously entered prefix letter shown in in- 



verse. Should less than the majdinum of 30 
extra data values be required then TAB Is 
pressed with SI EIFT to exit, ending the data 
list Exit is automatic after entering the 30 th 
value should that many values be nrquincd. 
After pressing SHIFT/TAB to exit or after 
automatic exit following the last data entry, 
the data entered together with the standard 
data is loaded afier which RETURN is pressed 
to continue or ESCAPE to exit as before, if 
extra data was selected, but no values en- 
tered, SfllFT/TAB will exit and load onfy the 
standard data as If extra data had not been 
selected- 

Upon pressing RETURN, the Input file is 
read and analysed, pressing ESCAPE will exit, 
After each line of the input file has been read 
and analysed, a list of the constants found 
which appear more than three times is prtn- 
ted on screen, holding START pauses the list 
to allow closer inspection. At the end of the 
list, the total number of constants to be con- 
verted into variables Is given for reference. 
Pressing "L" from the menu reprints the list, 
ESCAPE exits and RETURN allows the pro- 
cess to actually convert the fQe to begin, writ- 
ing the output file to disk, 

if when the input file Was read, no constants 
were found that appeared more than 3 times, 
then there would be no point in continuing so 
In this casCj exit is the only option provided 
which Is acUoned by pressltig ESCAPE. 



A CAUTIONARY NOTE 

Whilst the program docs a very good Job of 
converting often used constants into vari- 
ables. It should be noted that the program, 
docs not count the total number of variables 
the listing contains. It is therefore still up to 
you, the programmer, to ensure that the max- 
imum number of variables Is not exceeded. 



TECHNICAL 
DETAILS 



ERROR TRAP 

A full error trap routine Is Included which 
displays all possible disk I/O errors. The error 
trap routine Is also responsible for detecting 
the end of file (EOF) ermr 136 and lor return- 
ing control back to main prograjn. Variable 
"PP" is used to establish the number of POF^ 
required (either 1 POP or none] to avoid stack 
errors Since a disk error could occur either 
Inside or outside a loop. 



DISPLAY LISTS 

The program uses 2 display lists, a normal 
mode zero, but lined screen is usH=d for the 
main display and a special 4 line mode zero 
screen is used for displaying all errors found. 
ITie display lists are defined together as L$ 
and MOVEd Into page 6 at address 1536. The 
address of the main screen display list Is 
1536 and tl:Le address of the error trap display 
list is 1590, 



PRINTIHG A LINE ON SCREEN 

Prior to printing a line on screen, tliat is the 
line of BASIC read from the input file stored 
in L$, the display flag at location 766 is 
POKEd with 1 to enable all ESCAPE -CON- 
TROL characters to be printed on screen as a 
character without the computer acting Upon 
them. After printing the line, location 766 is 
reset to zero to alloiv for normal screen 
printing. 



LINE EXAMINATION 

Each line of the input ftle Is read into L$ in 
turn at the start of the main EKD-fjOOP loop 
after which each line is examined by a F^R- 
NEXT loop. Before entering the FOR-NEXT 
loop, the pregram performs a cheek to ensure 
that the line number of the line stored in L$ Is 
legal within the range specified to ensure that 
the line would not be overwritten by the vari- 
able defining subroutine. The next step is to 
remove Turbo BASIC'S indentation and if the 
program is in the first pass to print the line 
[L.$) onto the screen. The length of LS is next 
extended with 20 spaces to give room for 
manoeuvre within the FOR-NEJCT loop when 
converting the constants found Into variables. 



43 



Page 6's New Atari User 



PMGs THE CURSOR ANI> TEXT 
CLEARING 

The program uses player zero as the cursor 
for keyboard entry. L$ is dimensioned to 256 
bytes, initially loaded with zeroes (the heart 
character) , it is used to clear the player stripe 
using MOVE prior to defining the cursor 
shape again using MOVE. Because the vertic- 
al position of the cursor varies, LS is used to 
clear the player stripe each time prior to the 
cursor beln^ redefined in a new position. L$ Is 
also used to clear text from the screen by 
MOVElng a length of it into the relevant part 
of the screen HAM, 

Page 6's New Atctri User 



WITHIN THE FOR-NEXT LOOP 

The first check is to find any line number 
reference commands such as GOTrO, GOSUB, 
RESTORE, etc. ajnd to bypass them. This is 
achieved by first Jindlng a numeral and step- 
ping back to check if it is preceded by such a 
command (using L$) and If so, the numeral ia 
bypassed. 

The next Step is to record the number of 
double quotes found in the line to establish 
whether numerals found are Inside or outside 
double quotes, the variable DTO is used for 
this purpose. If the number of double quotes 
is an odd number, then the numerals found 

43 



are within double quotes such as characters 
for printing onto the screen or used for defin- 
ing strings and arc therefore bypassed. If the 
number of double quotes is an even number, 
then the numerals found are outside and are 
then considered for converttng Into varlables- 

Wbcnever numerals are found, the next step 
Is to establish whether or not they are true 
constants which Is done by checking the pre- 
ceding character by comparing it with the 
characters stored in ZS. Z$ contains all the 
characljcra which BASIC allows constants to 
follow and if INSTR finds a match, then the 
numeral found is a true constant. 

At this point the actual character which 
could be the constant concerned or the start 
of the constant is read from the strlnji and a 
check Is made to ensure that Its ASCII code is 
that of a numeral. The VALue of the numeral 
Is then talccn and loaded Into a string [VARSI 
prt ceded by a bash (#) and followed by an AT 
(@) which prepares the constant ready for 
comparing with the conversion data. 

Assuming a match with the conversion data 
has been found, its number of occurrences is 
counted during the first pass and if It occur- 
red more than three tLmes, it is converted Into 
available during the second pass. 

COMFiMUNG THE COlfVERSION DATA 

The 300 elements of standard conversion 
data are loaded into the array during the 
programs Inlttalislng and any extra a>nver- 
slon data is loaded into the array following 
the standard data should extra data be re- 
quired. Thus at the time the conversion, data 
la loaded as described In the section USING 
THE PROGRAM, the array contains all the 
required data and this is transferred Into a 
string [V$), The conversion data is stored in 
V$ with each element of data preceded with a 
hash m and followed by AT (@) so tliat INSTR 
can be used to find a match with the prepared 
constant stored in VARS as described above. 



Another numeral follows the AT (@) wfhich Is 
the relevant data element's numeric position 
within the array so that INSTR can be used 
agialn If a match has previously been found to 
establish the position of a constant within the 
array. ITils allows the number of times a 
matched constant has occurred to be recor- 
ded In the array during the first pass and If 
necessary; to be converted into a variable 
during the second pass. 

To clarify how ctimparlng the constant found 
with the converelon data Unds a match, con- 
sider the following example. ,.. 

Consider finding the constant 710 (the play- 
field 2 colour register], then 710 wUl be stored 
within VAR$ as "#71 0@". Now consider the 
following section of V$ where the data ele- 
ment 710 Is stored 

■'...«709®270#710®271fl711@272,„'-ltcan 
be seen that irfSTR can find a match between 
V$ and VAR$ and therefore 7 1 will be consi- 
dered for con\'erslon Into a variable. It can be 
seen from the section of V$ that 7 10 Is fol- 
lowed by the number 27 1 which is the posi- 
tion of 710 within the array. This number is 
located again using INSTR but using the pre- 
vious match as the starting point. 

The array is dimensioned thus A(329, 1) 
where the first talunm [the Os) stores the 
actual data elements and the second column 
(the la) records the number of occurrences of 
the associated data element 

AFTER THE FOR-NEXT LOOP 

As soon as the FOR-NEXT loop is exited 
during the second pass, the extended length 
of LS Is first removed and then it is written to 
the disk and printed on screen. Unlike the 
first pass where the line Is printed on screen 
before entering the FOR-NEXl loop, during 
the second pass the line is prints on screen 
after exiting the loop to allow its csonversion to 
variables (if any) to be examined. 



VBI ROUTINE 

A small deferred VBI routine defined as a 
string {VB($J Is used to disable all lower case 
ajid inverse characters to ease keyboard entry 
and to flash the colour of the PMG cursor 
between two preset values tl44 and 150), The 
mutine is also responsible for disabling the 
attract mode and for disabling the CONTROL- 

1 slop-start toggle- 



PROGRAM BREAKDOWN 

To help Study the listing, a breakdown of the 
program's procedures, labels, strings and 
major variables foUow,,.. 



#EOF 



#ER 



#ERROR 
#RERUNI 







CL$ 




PROCEDURES 


Ft$ 


BEEP 


The besp 


FO$ 


CLICK 


The k%y click 


l» 


CURSOR 


Controls the horizontal position of Ih© 






cursor Used within (he INPUT proce- 


L$ 




dura 




INIT 


Initialising routine 




INPUT 


Controls keyboard entry 




IPSUB 


In Put SUBfoutine,, controls data entry. 
Used within the IMPUT procedure 




REMOVE 


Removes additional spaces added to 
t\& \mgth of L$ 


LDS 


SPACES 


Removes any leadirtg or lagging 
spacers from 1$. Used within th$ 
INPUT procedure 


LUS 
NUh 


SUB 


Writes the variable delining subroutine 
for the outpti! file 




1 


LINE LABELS 


T$ 



44 



Page 6's JVeiis Atari User 



#B V E n d of the analys i n g FOR- N EXT loop 

#CHG End of the main ChO-LOOP bop 

Page 6's New Atari 



Return point from the error trap routine 
after detecting the End Of File (EOF) 
©n-or 136 

Entry point for printing listing errors to 
ihe screen if line number errors are 
found ifl the input file 
Start of the enror trap routine 
Resets Ihe VBl vector to reain the 
program 

#START Start of the main loop for reading the 
input file, analysing, counting the con- 
stants, manipulating the data and writ- 
ing Hie output file 

#STD Start of the standard conversion data 

list 



STRINGS 

16 ^p^rces for clearing text from Che 
screen 

InpLTtfilJe name 
Qiglput tile name 

For storing data entered fnom the 
keyboard in the INPUT procedure 
Stores the lirnes as read from the input file 
and where the constants are converted 
into variables, Also used to load the dis- 
play lists into page 6 and Icr clearing the 
PMG player stripe and clearing text 
from the' screen 

(Line Down) A line of CONTROL- N ohar- 
actens 

(Line UpJ A tine of CONTROL-lt/l charac- 
ters 

Used to establish the length of the line 
number of Ihe line on BASIC read from 
the input file stored in L$ and also used in 
the SUB procedure to write the constant/ 
variable defining to the disk 
The program's title 

Used with L$ for inserting the variable 
prefix letter when converting constants 
into variables 

User 45 



v$ 



VAR$ 



WS 



IS 



AL 



DAT 
DTO 



ER 

EXT 

UST 

LINE 
4a 



Stores the conveision data in the fonm ot 
a string to enable INSTR to ba used to 
search for matches 

Stores a bund constant as a siring pre- 
pared for comparison using INSTR With 
V$ 

the VBI rouUn© 

8tores 4 dharacters of L$ during a search 
for ccnstanta and rejects them it a line 
reference instnwtion stJCh as GOTO, 
[GpSUB, tRES)TORE, TRAP, etc is 
found 

stores the symbols that may legaEly pre- 
cede a constant to establish if a numeral 
found durinig a search is a true constant 



MAJOR VARIABLES 

Address of L$ used for Pf^G stripe 
cleaning and text dearing using MOVE 
CUR, POS, PRV, MAX, XX, YY; Gen- 
eral variables used in the INPUT proc- 
edure to position the cursor and text 
when entering data from the 
k^board 

FOR-MEXT loop variable for entering 
extra data from tlie keyboard 
The number of double quotes found 
during a seanjii used to establish if 
any numerals found are Inside or out- 
side double Cj'uotes. It inside double 
quotes, the numerals are ignored 
Allows the efrof trap roufine to print 
listing errors 

Variable detenmining if extra data is 
required entered from the l^eyboard 
The last data staiement loaded into 
the array used to checl>^ extra data 
entries and tor loading the data into 
V$ 

Line numbers of the fines used in the 
variable defining subroutine in the out- 
put file written to disl( by the SUB 
procedure 



LN Lengtii of L$ 

LTR ASCII code of the variable prefix letter 

entered from ihe keytxtard 

NUMBERS Flag variable to disable all except 

numeral's when Entering data from the 

l^eyboard 

PASS: Flag variable to establish the 

first and seoond pass functions 

PMB PMBASE address 

PP The number of POPs necessary to 

avoid stacK errors since disK errors 
could occur inside or outside a loop. 1 
POPif PP=1,noneif PP=0 

sen The screen RAM address DPEEKfBfl) 

used when clearing the player stripe 
and erasing text (Vom the screen 



AND FINALLY 



M any of the program's consta,iits have been 
ronverted Into %'artable3 by this program tt- 
selfl The variable defining subroutine baa 
been Incorporated Itito the programs inUialls- 
Ing routine and the variables use the prefix 
letter "N". • 



THE LISTING 

CONSTANT CONVERTER is too 
long to include in the niagazine 
as a type-in listing and is there- 
fore on this issue's disk ready 
to run. For those who would 
prefer to type it in, a fully 
TYPO-coded printed listing is 
available on request. See the in- 
side back cover for details. 





John S Davison 
explores the 
Internet and 
goes — 




Searching 
for the Atari 
Classic 



W 



Page B's New Atari User 



ell, here we ait agaliit poised on the 
launchpad n:ady to blast oH on 
another Journey Into Cyberspace. 
Our ongoing mission la to seek out Atari- 
friendly Internet sites and to report back on 
what's there. Last time we mvestlgfited Atari 
related Newsgroups found on Usenet, ac- 
cessed via CompuServe's WlnCIM software 
running on an IBM PC. Our Uitest expedition 
will be miade using Netscape Navigaljor (again 
running on an IBM PC] to access the World 
Wide Web (WWW). If you've forgotten what the 
WWW is. take a look at NAU Issue 76 where 
ail yeas explained. 
As with all journeys into Cyberspace oair first 
task is to locate a convenient "jumping off 
point". With the WWW this is best done from 
one of the many search engines that have 
been set up Xa help you And your way around 
the WWW. I often use the search engine 
known as 'Yahoo'", and a few seojnds after 
keying its URL into Navigator 1 waji connected 
and keying in the search request. Using 
"Atari ' as the search subject produced 10 
category and 203 site matches, so tliere's 
obviously a fair bit of Ataxi related material 
out theiT! for us to explore. Note - the URLs of 
all sites visited are all listed at ihc end of this 
artlelc. 

Yahoo's search results screen also listed the 
first ten references, set up as hypertext links 

Page 6's JVeu; j^tari User 47 




ConmLtenn idllftmgl:H.d-jT Tm-n J Cc.aJJOT *MtH 



S^n^*ik>ft Gmmj Vklgfl Qaim . ^t^Im bui, AtajJ^Sll^i^ 



{a.k.a. hyperlinks], aJlow- 
ing access to sjiy of the 
listeid sites simply by 
mouse clicking on tJwm, I 
chose a caLcgDiy contain- 
ing "Atail S-Bit". and a 
further list of eight hyper- 
links appeared, the first of 
which again said "Ataii 
8-ait", A click on this one 
whisked me olT to "The 
Atari S-Blt Home P^gc". 
which from its URL 
seemed to be baaed In Hoh 
land. It's run by Ivo van 
Poorten, who clafms it's 
the first and the best Atari 
home page. However, tt 

appeared to be incomplete and was last up' 
dated in April 1 &9S, so It looks like Ivo lost 
Intcreist in It. I decided to explore It anyway, 
and present my findings here. 



ATARI 8-BIT 
HOME PAGE 

This site Is split into six major sections, each 
accessed via a hyperlink. The sections are 
Hardware Overview; Plnouta; Software; Inter- 
net ResQurccs; Documents; and Page Histoty. 
The Hardware Overview attempts to provide 
basic technical details of all known Atari 
hardware, (Including that infamous vapour- 
ware) together with photographs of some 
items. However, the details are fairly basic 
and there's nothing much on the vapourwarc, 
despite a request from Ivo asking visitors to 
the site to send him details on any item they 

4S 




faiMHJ ]l>Cilic|«7Mti3«] SJiIibkbraligf IMri. 
V4b««J C(l«t*rj .MJttiAn aMrf]*) 

RpTTfiaian tV«T VkkLi GaiftH giiiagj Atari 






C^ntt^fffii jit^A Irffifr^cr "HigApife Penonil'[]qfiyJ:n .Atari Atiri 13-£iS 



?crLVi^vaL-C^fF"-f j*' "'-"■' ^'*^'-- ^"*" t^-'^H^ r.,M^Ai*mm^ 



■ji'Vft-.ih. rfJjpiSr i" JAdACsr: ; 



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4-.^>v^«...>ttg(iwt^ 



The result screenjrom a Yahoo search on. "Atari" 



might know about. The I*inout section would 
no doubt be very useful to hardware hackers, 
but unfortunately all the diagrams are in 
Postscript and/or Fig format, and as [ have 
no software capable of displaying or printing 
these I couldn't look at them. The software 
section is a disappointment too, as it contains 
only thiec Items - a sound module player; a 
file decompression utility; and a set of tools 
for manlptjJatlng XFD disk images as used by 
8-bit emulator programs. 
TTie Internet Resources section is far more 
interesting. It contains hyperlinks to lots of 
other Atari related sites, SO I note<i this for 
later investigation. The Documents section 
too. showed great pnaralse. It has hyperlinks 
to all sorts of useful; information, in .ASCII, 
Postscript, and Hyperte;i£t formals. To sample 
it 1 clicked on the "Atari 8-Blt FAQ" (Frequent- 
ly Asked Questions) hyperlink, and this took 
me out to an FTP site from where I quickly 
downloaded the document. It was written by 
Michael Current of Carleton Collcfe in Minne- 



Page &s Afciu Atari U&er 




Thp Atari 8 Bit -'^?*???.?^"^ . '*^^^ ?!T^ *^.'^!!?v^^^ J ^^^''tj j!:'£ ^^*-^^'--^>- '^^ 
Home Page 




L#:t-^ii,snTLJW5i'iic-JMJL>.i nrjB: 



^;^^^ 




MAIKT AIMED BY IVO VAN POORTEN 

LAST irPDATE - 1 JTE OF APRIL. \')% 



HARDWAKE 

OVERVIEW 

SOFTWARE 



PINOUTS 



INTERMET 
RESOURCES 



PAGE 
HISTORY 



DOCUMENTS 



'jJJt jO mjy^ii i j BI I^-T|ji^*^*yj'^jJ''l*l'*J^ 



?^->'*lmi: 






sota, USA, with contributions from many 
other people. It runs to 37 A4 pages and is an 
absolute goldmine of Information on S-blt sys- 
tems, covering all manner of useful topics and 
telling you where on the Internet to find even 
more. 

This Is one of the great attractions of the 
Internet - there's always a trail to foUow to 
find more material. You usually find yourself 
wanting to access "Just one more link" to get 
even more Information. It's almost like being 
addicted to a coinputer game, uvhere you need 
to have "Just one more go" to Improve your 
score, ilic difference is, you need to be con- 
stantly aware of the phone call costs if you're 
paying for the Internet link yourself. However, 
most people can now access the Internet via a 
local phone call, which at weekends now 
costs only about 6 Op per hour. 



ATARI ARCHIVES 

One of the items covered by the FA0 is 

"What Is the University of Michigan. Archive?" 
It explains tliat this is a major archive site for 



material for many dlfTerent oompudng plat- 
forms, including Atari 8- bit. It then describes 
several dlfTerent ways of accessing this re- 
source. Including FTP. Gopher, and WWW, 
Using the URL recommended In the FAQ I got 
straight to it without problem. There's a whole 
smash of stuff here, archived under about two 
dozen different subject headings, including 
complete application programs, demos, utili- 
ties, games, programming languages, com- 
munications programs, and so on. You can 
download any of this for free at any time. It 
looks good, but i\'e seen comments elsewhere 
on the Internet sajfing that Atari support is 
now beginning Lo wither at sites such as this, 
with Atari material being gradually removed 
as time passes. Ominous, 

The FAQ mentions other archive sites too. 
Including Boston, PVV, ClarkNet, Gatekeeper, 
Polish Demo, and Slovaklan archives. All of 
these are reached via FTP. The FAQ also said 
the Boston Archive based at Boston Universi- 
ty may now be lost, and this seems to be the 
case as I couldn't find any Sign of Atari mate- 
rial when f accessed it. 

Next stop was PW (PrograraVareVerstedct - 
that's Norwegian for Software Workshop, 1 



Page 6's New Atari User 



49 






rritf>r ' |hi[)i:i^ MCIMMT-JLJI I ll^l - 



^■/t:M^t'jiJii''«:*.?e-3^ti^j: RRR 



Index of /~archive/atari/8bit/ 




m 



Hum 



L«t, vKllfled SHE Bnciim«« 



H iin ■ CHlltiiEt . 37 . ^ . It 

Bl ne.EirrimTCHi 



m 



ED . IIS, psi jj . Ptinm 
OP. mim.ia.iT 



JSi 



JsMJas 



ZZ-nir-9T i3;44 

ii-aOl-ST 23 119 

13-IJ«ir-9l (Jl;!"? 

13-S=B~9* ai*:il 



llf 

3K: 

IK 

IK 




The (nde?f page 
Jrom the Uni- 
verstty oj 
Michigan Arc- 
hive Atari 8-bit 
section. 



afcjJwJgETKiq pyj* ^^v*.^i' l•- .! r ,1 ! ■**fv ! ^^■'v ^ f^^-^r-f■ w .'^. *.w m 



r^r^T*^. ^ '^ ~T^"f 



|ai.'s.w.>»arj,ti;; 



believe!) baaed at the Unlversf Ly of Tron- 
dhclm, and this seemed to have a lot of mate- 
rial available. One {ntercating looking area 
here was the Antic directory, which appeared 
to have all the type-in progjams published in 
Antic magazine from way baok when. Howev- 
er, attempts to download these produced 
error messages aaytng the flies weren't there. 
Tin beginning to think the "withering support" 
comments were true after all. 



ANTIC AND ANALOG 

The PW matfirtal was mirrored from the 
ClarkNel Archive site, so 1 made that ray next 
port of call. It has two main sections, called 
"Antic" and "Analog", each oontainlng prog- 
rams published in those two famous Atari 
magazines, now sadly long gone. The prog- 
rams are grouped by month, packaged 
tn|ether and compressed into an archive 
which can then be downloaded (for free] an a 
single item, Each group therefore equates m 
the disk available with each issue of the 
magazine [and costing a small fortune at the 



ttaie, I seem to remember). Analog Issues co- 
vered are from July- S5 to Dec-89, and Antic 
from Nov-S4 to June -90. There dtdnt seem to 
be much explanatory documentation avail- 
able, 90 I downloaded the Analog group for 
Jvjly-e5 to find out what It contained!. There 
were ten programs there, which from the file 
names I'd guess were written in a mix of 
BASIC, Assembler, and Action, 
You've probably already noticed the one big 
snag. How do you get all this free material 
onto your 8-blt system if you use a PC to 
access and downioad it? The Atari S-bit FAQ 
mentioned earlier covers this, with Informa- 
tion on reading IBM PC 5,25 ' disks on an 
Atari system, and transfer of data using ter- 
minal programs and a null modem connec- 
tion, It suggests specialised hardware and 
software you can use ta achieve the former, 
and describes the RS-232 pin connections 
needed to create your own null modem cable 
for PC tn Atari data transfer. Fur this to w^ork 
you also need a suitable 8-blt RS-232 inter- 
face, such as the Atari 850 Interface Module 
or a ICD P;R] Connection. This could make a 
great subject for an artlele in NAU - do I hear 
anyone volunteering to writ^ it? 



SO 



Page 6's New Atari User 




.SlS'.'L'tt-H'HISiirit' 







^'i ^^:^ , 



^<je>t£& 



0:' 









^&m Wi^^tnint UIC Atirr» tolf^^ Page 



'i 



- t. Tr.^iTi-niy.'.^zTrc.' ^tiSisvi, 



r atJifiXi/xi: L>i: 



■ ATAt)J3"ETrET>JPJS 



' ^iM\t>^i«miii^^ 



MICRO DISCOUNT 
HOME PAGE 

1 reeently reeelved an e-ntiall note from Derek 
Fern of Micro Discount saying he's begun 
construettng a WWW home page for Micro 



Discount. This is a great Idea, as It allows 
Derek to publicise an up-to-date Ust of his 
a^'allable products to a worldwide audience at 
very low cost NAU gets a mention In It too. 
Although still under construction It's open for 
visits, so do take a look if you have WWW 
access. • 



Site References 

yahoo Search Engine 
The Atcai. 8-Bit Home Page 

Unittersity of Michigan Archive 

Boston Archive 

ClarkNet Archive 

PW 

Micro Discount Home Page 



http : / / www,y ahoo . coTn 

hltp:/ /pmwww.cs-vTQ.nl/home/ 

ip oorten/ Atari , 8 bit . Homepage 

http :/ /www . urnichxdu / ~ archive / 

atan/8blt 

ftp: //cs-ftp.bu,edu/PC /ATARI 

ftp : / / ftp . ci ark. net/ pub/ atari 

ftp : / /ftp . pw. u nit . np /pub / atari / 8b it/ 

h ttp : / / ouTworld . comp useive . c oro / 

homepages/ derekfem 



Page ffs New Atari User 



91 



ri 





If IKbh A )JUU I Ul I <.«><*(. I ^J 



trft;M^K.iMs.i»4i3':cij-itw rag IS 







^■lM-iiiijgn'd«^'>H'"'ff'*-i^S N^ 



'-'^f'^f^.'!^''^'-^'^..^!*^^ 



*'^. 



Ml cr 11 D isco 11*1 1 T f K 



A 



'■"mrEK AtAtU i) BIT CO-^l'ACjri 



Nn*'A*iiii UnT Hajai±fle.j;tiirmiHjfl';»i;i; e HUll^'^""''- 

.ir'Nl'.LjVilp- rii'^ -hll./Jati'j'. :ItlJ id^fi.l 'n-J 1,H-.! ■ -InL-ftn nrfv.l.'lj Ir.VnffJl;. V ' 

:ti ■■* c d uTt xr^-T-^hr^r+i H "■: ■(*■' ^ir.;1t w.'^rTp 'jTri^ h'r^ir^;, ;15ij r ;',n''J -*h- rri^i ^ ■*''' 
a^■ (.*'i la '.ri!. Che' lli'j T- •• ■--..- — II. Til- f -.rli (in;i:.:: :r 7i-l-Tf- 
hi hf,-,- f + iill..-- 



Tjlit-tnisl Wfa* AtjiH OjHrC.firtij.,; 



ro'ili.Tijoi-r-ii^i*V'yDi;»lt*"''iJVt*iJLa'i.-;iiTiri : fiiij^. C'-;. kr' >!Jiiri' 






JVAl/ gets a mjention on the Mk:ro Oiscount home page 



NAU INTERNET CONTACT LIST 


The fd lowing is a list of NAU reactefS who'd welcome e mait from other Atari users. If you'd like 


to be add&d to this list plddse drop an 


e-mail note to John S Davison at the address below. 


Daniel Bavarstock 


dbaverstock@)mistral , co.uk 


Paul Carlson 


paul.carlSOn@hn.se 


Johnny Chan 


icwchan@clara,nst 


Michael Current 


mcu rre nt(S) ca rteto n . e du 


John S Davison 


100256.1577@compuserve.com 


Derek Fern 


101 755 . 2443@compu sa rv© . co m 


Joel Goodwin 


j,f,goodwin@reading. ac.uk 


Gordon Hooper 


u a55 8 @f r e* net , victo ria . be .ca 


Fred Meijer 


fmeijer@dsv.nl 


Ann O'Driscoll 


annod@iol.ie 


Allan Palmer 


100644.1040@compuservo.com 


Paul Rixon 


new address to b© advised 


Brad Rogers 


brad@pianosa.demon.co,uk 


Manning Wright 


kotta@ a!go n et . se 


Bryan Zillwood 


b .j . zi 1 lwood@ex$te r , ac. uk 



THI KC!SS(n^ S!H0^ 



DISKS ... DISKS 



NIBBLER 

SlinKirig through an unKnown land Nibble* Tinds himself 
irt an irictesCS'hi iMorld of corislanl change. As time grows- 
stiorl his body grows longer and he risks running mio 
llimsell. Can he survive'^ 

CLQSEOUT PRICE 50 p piut^sop psp 
MAXWELL'S DEMON 

A simple y9l chaJlenging puzii^gamE whicJi will ge4 you 
tatally addicled. Two games in one fDrd>D-utl9 the turi 

CLOSEOUT PRICE 50p plus ^p p&p 



DRUID 

Anoiher dassic in which, as Last ol ihe Great Druitia, 
you wander through the Dungeons of Acamantor witl^ 
your migfily Golem by your sida on a quest lo destroy 
ihe lour dtemon pnnees As you delve deeppr into iha 
dungeons foa wilE llrtd ctissis containing :spells of tor- 
midaMe pouuer to 9id you arHf Penlogfams ot Ufe wtiich 
will heal and revitalise you Excallent g^aplilQ and s-u- 
perb gsmepl&y makis this one oj the tost arcade gsmes. 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 plus 70p p&p 



CASSETTES 



LANCELOT 

Level 9 recreate ttie time gi wiza^cls and ifie Knights ol 
iKa Round TaMa in a three part adwentufe spanning ihe 
completB saga o1 Ihe quest for Ihe Holy Grail. Superbly 
researched and sup^rljty wrUt^ii ihȣ ieitt adventure is 
lullof almosphereand fiighly reoGMnmenclei;! 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 plus 90p p&p 
JUGGLE'S HOUSE 

Another neat prcsgram lor 3 lo 6 year olds (■eeshin g iiie 
cance'p[£ at mstOo, outside, upper and low^ wilh Jug- 
gle's house and toysticip 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 plus TOp p&p 



LAST FEW ROMS 



BASIC CARTRIDGE 

Some programs, espwiall)^ some early public domain 
programs won't run on the XUXE but they will if yoj 
pJug. in (he aW version ol Basic, 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 plus 70p pap 
DESIGNERS PENCIL 

A new programing language that is based afounfl the 
ccealton of graphics screens. Dilficull ^o explain but 
wortft a go at this price' 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 p^us 70p p&p 



BATTALION COMMANDER 

Art exerting rsai-limetadJcal game witfi ygu as lieule- 
nam eelonei in charged an entire armoured baflafion 
Chooee from, fivie diflarieni scenarios from alrainiing 
mission against a Soviet lank tjaiialiori lo teugifi asaign- 
menls against Ihe Chinese. You can atJjusl itie reiftli^e 
strengths (t\ your fofcee and llW' opposition and ctioos-e 
from 40 differeinl maps and 5 diffefeni scenarios. 

CLOSEOUT PRICE £1 .00 pws 70p p&p 



Transfer these 
cassettes to disk! 

TRANSDISK IV 

is still available 

Tells tfOii how to transfer the soft- 
ujare shouin overieaf' but you can 
do many more - over 3Q0 programs 

succes^ully transfei'redl 

TRANSDISK IS NOW ONLY £9.95 
AYMMMLE ONLYFROMPAC^ 6 



52 



Page G's Nsw Atari User 



Page 6's New Atari User 



S3 



BARGAIN CASSETTES 



Your choice of 

any 5 CaSSCttCS for £1,50 plus 80p p&p 
any 10 cassettes for £2.00 plus £1.20 p&p 



180 



^ 



Eight opponents, digltis«d EfiiVKh, Iwo 
ptayar option. Ilva joystick controt. lut 
malehplay SiCoring, supe-ib piayabiiity. 



LOS ANGELES SWAT */ 

Rescue the hMtages inom tiie lerrgri^i 
gangs lioitfing out ;n Wesi L A Clean 
iip IW ^tr^ols Worn away Ihs bad ^ufB 



REVEISK^E II 



y 



BOMB FUSION ^ MASTER CHESS ^ 



TT)S MuI^CP^ 90 f(?QC h>9h. I^ssf opining 
dsalh DBmeJE havB retmlsd BgBHte.1 
Iheir captcrt the Zzyaxians and Ata OW 



A lerror^i gan^ iias planned tioirtis \n 
the Nuciear PFOcsssmg Plant and you 
liav» to go in to &av» in& piarvt 



An exceiteni clne^simulalicn wl^i @li 
line ODiTKt mwee.. varigus cpenin^, in 
la(j efVierything 1o keep yen chalten^ed 



ROCKFORD 



v^ 



DESPATCH RIDER • MILK RACE 

Join ttis growing band ot siraet dgfTions 
who tsrify the popuialjon d tiia big 
Qliee to ger Ihd |:>aiC«ifi through. 

FEUD ^ 

Yhj musi "aul-Epell' yciur rftfii Wizards 
Tread iSjeMy as siranga tilings can 
happ*fi iT> tine ga-Tie ot mag ic 

FOOTBALL MANAGER 

EM^yl^ing you miglil want ifl a mm- 
agenaisirmilatisn. Fartoo manyfea- 

luras 1(9 deso'ibfi, but ydu wan'L be dt6- 
appointBd 



^ 



GHOSTBUSTERS ^ ON CUE 



Cydng 1 .000 mtes is no n^«an teai - 
and yciu could end inp feeiing pr»itly 
«ixl^aList»<) by the lifTW you''>ro finishstj 

MR DIO ^ 

An Did (avoufit-9 m which Mr Dig has to 
dig io' hoden food sijppliw in !r» 

'Maariie' terrilary below ground. 

NINJA ^ 

Bl9SlE [he ball at\ all other mailial arts 
gaineGl II tajis on th« inFayt Son^«oni« 
sure r«c)cons. this is the b9st purclvng. 
^ictong, ducking and diving gams at all 



^ 



At thia very momsnt hundreds at gl-ioEts 

ar^ malviing their way Id Ihs infamouE 

spook oemral. Only you cart ian/e the 
waru rrofm disast^f 

(SUN LAW 

Four months ot bkjody alien attacks 
nave taken their toll. You arie le*t lo fighi 
alone against ruthless and bbodihirsty 
killers with ^U^t a single maohine gun 



A challenmng real Irfa Simulation which 
■Mh*ine«. Pool and Snooker on the 
saiT» cas&ette. An ^teoiuie ms^t lor 
bdh enlhueiasls and tieglnnerS alike. 

PANTHER ^ 

Save the l3&( humane on Xeno*^. Talie 
yoi^r ground anack ship IhrOijgtl this 3D 
6crDl[ing Tnega ahOOl-em-jp with great 
iraphiies arvJ unb4lieval&ie souridtrack 



HENRY'S HOUSE ^ PEN<SON 



Little Henry haa shronk and must navi- 
at6 his way througti the royal hou&e- 
oU lo )ind the curs. Vci46d one Of the 

pi lime great games 



^; 



INVASION 



MC!tiill2e your units and prepare lor b>at 
tie. This all action spacs conlSd re- 
quires skill, stral^y and iaci]io&. 



Can you saw Penguin Willy from the 
terocBus mutant sea iicms? Sly n them 
tJi" kiHKking th^rn againsi the walls or 
crush th^m with Bliciin^ irse bk}cli& 



^ 



^ PLASTRON 



Take your plaoe in a £<nrmll band of 
piraiBS oui \A st&al \<AiA fuels from the 
big^s&t corporation in th« galaxy 



The only true arcade version <A IhA 
classic 0ajf« &i3uldeird.a£h. Eiqslafe A 
l«vsls on each of 5 diKerenI worlds 

SIDEWINDER II 

It IS 27 yea« since ihe imal baJtle of the 
war with !he atens All this is about to 
chan^' Slef] aboard your crafi 10 da- 

teitd manhind m t/i* <pae« tMast 

SPEED HAWK 

Defend th6 ring wortdi o^ y«ur solar 
sy&tem from sf>a:^e pirates. Another o4 
the gnsat 5paoe< ^amec 

SPEED ZONE • 

Enl^r Ihe £pe>ed^one in a Iranik: de- 
Fence a^nsL align lorcei. A £Uri/ey 

shgi comes urtder attack and your 
'-Slarfv?' dass attach crait is launchaij 

STAR RAIDERS • 

What nwre can b« saKl. PrcAably the 

best oomput» gafne in the mw!a - ever! 

TAfL OF BETA LYRAf ^ 

Our A-Z of Ataii So4twafe sma ^ys 
"The ultirvate 'Swambls' don* witln su- 
perb graphics and music ' 

TWILIGHT WORLDS 

Equipped with the latest in anti-gravhy 
pods and Laser weaponry, banle your 
way throng h each 01 alevam dungeons 

UNIVERSAL HERO •^ 

Only sevon seconds l«4t to s^ve ih« 
planet' Universal Hero has lo save hi>s 
sKin and wetytxtdy else's Hjy firtdifig 
bits 10 repair a shunle 



KIKSTART 



^ 



The uli;'Tiai9 off-toad molorbihe scram- 
l3te. Guide your rider over the oljstacles 
In IHii g'OtM game tor 1 or 2 playars 



^ TRAJVSmSK rV shows you how to 
transfer these to diski 



ORDER HEMS FROM THE ACCESSORY SHOP WITH THE ORDER FORM 

ENCLOSED WITH THIS fSSUE OR WRITE TO 

PAGE 6, P.O. BOX 54, STAFFORD, ST16 1DR 

TELEPHONE ORDERS ACCEPTED ON 07785241753 USING ACCESS OR VISA 



S4 



Page 6's f^eiD Atari User 



contact... contact... contact.. 



FOR SALE 



ST COLLECTION: STFM1 
Meg for sale plus LOTS of ori- 
ginal games plus Page 6 from 
Issue 3 to dale, All in SIX large 
JMXesI! Move to small house 
lories sale. First to pay £100 
secures, bul you mitst collect it 
all! Graham Main 01372 
456324 (SurreyJ, evenings 

8- BIT COLtECTlON: I need to 
dear a lot of my B-bit collection 

- hardware, software, books, 
mags, all reasonably priced. 
For ojmpr&hensive list write to 
Mark Fen wick, IB Teesdale 
Road, Long Eaton, Nottang- 
ham MGIO SPG or telephone 
OllS 973562S 

(Mark ssnr us a copy of his list 

- tour pages in sti with soma 
V0fy interesting b0rgBins) 



FOR SALE 



HARDWARE: Offers invited for 
the following: Unused {bLit tes- 
ted) Atari 130XE in original 
packaging, complete with 
manuaL PSU, cables etc.; 
Used 130XE in working order 
in original packaging complete 
with user manual PSU, cables 
etc.; Used 130XE with blown 
chip but otherwise in excellent 
condition complete with used 
user manual, PSU, cables etc: 
Two used 105O disk drives in 
working order complete wiih 
P3U, cabdes &tc. with ofie set 
of manuals. Both drives frtted 
with US Doubler chips; Thrse 
unused Tandon drive bafts for 
above mentkined drives; Used 
Xetec Graph ix AT printer inter- 
face with integral DIP switches 
and manual; Interface cable 
and software {SI02PC version 



FOR SALE 



3,19) for Atari S-bit/PC conver- 
sions. Anything of interest 
please make an offer to 
George Groom -White on 
01274 501421 



WANTED 



FLIGHT SIMULATOR: Disk, 
majnual, scenery disks, books 
wanted about Flight Simulator 
1' for the Atari. Please contact 
Neil LeMaitre, 127 Kinghayes 
Road. Walsall, WS9 SSN 



FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS 

The CONTACT column Is free of charge tq subscribers who wish to sell their 
equipment or contact other readers. Space is Utiklted so we request that eottles be 
kept as short as possible, Exfjiemely long entries may be heavily edited or ignored. 
Send your CONTACT notice on a separate sheet of paper (not as part of a letter) to: 

CONTACT, PAGE 6 PUBLISHING, STAFrORD, ST16 IDR 



FOR SALE ... WANTED ,.. PEN PALS ... ADViCE ... HELP 



CerLain program listings which are too long to include in the magazine may be obtaineid 
free of charge as printed listings to type in. All pitsgrams are, however, included on the 
Issue Disk which is available with each Issue. Remember this disk also includes BONUS 
PROGRAMS which do not appear in the magazine. If you would like the type-in listings 
please \^Tlte or telephone Indicating which Usllngs you require. Please note that there 
are not necessarily extra listings for eveiy magazine. 

Write to LISTINGS^ NEW ATARI USER, P.O. BOX 54, 
STAFFORn, STl 6 IDR or telephone 01 783 241133 

Page G's New Atari User